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The English Husbandman
by Gervase Markham
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[Transcriber's note

Spellings are inconsistent, especially the use of ee and ee. Notes of changes that have been made for obvious misprints, and of other anomalies, are at the end of this etext.

There are many sidenotes in the original. They are indicated thus: {SN: }, and have been grouped together at the start of the paragraph in which they appear.]



THE ENGLISH HVSBANDMAN.

* * * * *

The first Part: CONTAYNING the Knowledge of the true Nature of euery Soyle within this Kingdome: how to Plow it; and the manner of the Plough, and other Instruments belonging thereto.

TOGETHER WITH THE Art of Planting, Grafting, and Gardening after our latest and rarest fashion.

A worke neuer written before by any Author: and now newly compiled for the benefit of this KINGDOME.

By G. M.

Bramo assai, poco, spero nulla chieggio.

LONDON: Printed by T. S. for Iohn Browne, and are to be sould at his shop in Saint Dunstanes Church-yard.

1613.



TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE, and his singular good Lord, the Lord Clifton, Baron of Layton.

It was a custome (right Honorable, and my most singular good Lord) both amongst the auntient Romans, and also amongst the wise Lacedemonians, that euery idle person should giue an account of the expence of his howers: Now I that am most idle, and least imployed in your Familie, present here vnto your Lordships hands an account of the expence of my idle time, which how well, or ill, it is, your Noble wisedome must both iudge and correct; onely this I am acertain'd, that for the generall rules and Maximes of the whole worke, they are most infallibly true, and perfectly agreeing with our English climate. Now if your Lordship shall doubt of the true tast of the liquor because it proceedeth from such a vessell as my selfe, whom you may imagine vtterly vnseasoned vvith any of these knowledges, beleeue it (my most best Lord) that for diuers yeeres, wherein I liued most happily, I liued a Husbandman, amongst Husbandmen of most excellent knowledge; during all which time I let no obseruation ouer-slip me: for I haue euer from my Cradle beene naturally giuen to obserue, and albe I haue not that oylie tongue of ostentation which loueth euer to be babling all, and somewhat more then it knoweth, drawing from ignorance admiration, and from wisedome laughter, filling meale-times with much vnprofitable noyse; yet I thanke my maker I haue a breast which containeth contentment inough for my selfe, and I hope much benefit for the whole Kingdome; how euer or whatsoeuer it is, it is all your Lordships, vnder the couert of whose fauourable protection if it may finde grace it is the vttermost aime whereunto my wishes aspire, nor shall I feare the malignitie of the curious, for it is not to them but the honest plaine English Husbandman, I intend my labours, vvhose defender you haue euer beene, and for whose Honorable prosperitie both they and I will continually pray.

Your honours in all seruiceable humblenesse,

G. M.



The Epistle to the generall and gentle Reader.

Although (generall reader) the nature of this worst part of this last age hath conuerted all things to such vildnesse that whatsoeuer is truely good is now esteemed most vitious, learning being derided, fortitude drawne into so many definitions that it consisteth in meere words onely, and although nothing is happy or prosperous, but meere fashion & ostentation, a tedious fustian-tale at a great mans table, stuft with bigge words, with out sence, or a mimicke Iester, that can play three parts in one; the Foole, the Pandar and the Parasit, yet notwithstanding in this apostate age I haue aduentured to thrust into the world this booke, which nothing at all belongeth to the silken scorner, but to the plaine russet honest Husbandman, for whose particular benefit, and the kingdomes generall profit, I haue with much paine, care, and industry, passed through the same. Now for the motiues which first drew me to vndertake the worke, they were diuers: as first, when I saw one man translate and paraphrase most excellently vpon Virgils Georgickes, a worke onely belonging to the Italian climbe, & nothing agreeable with ours another translates Libault & Steuens, a worke of infinit excellency, yet onely proper and naturall to the French, and not to vs: and another takes collections from Zenophon, and others; all forrainers and vtterly vnacquainted with our climbes: when this I beheld, and saw with what good liking they were entertained of all men; and that euery man was dumbe to speake any thing of the Husbandry of our owne kingdome, I could not but imagine it a worke most acceptable to men, and most profitable to the kingdome, to set downe the true manner and nature of our right English Husbandry, our soyle being as delicate, apt, and fit for increase as any forraine soyle whatsoeuer, and as farre out-going other kingdomes in some commoditie, as they vs in other some. Hence, and from these considerations, I began this worke, of which I haue here sent thee but a small tast, which if I finde accepted, according to mine intent, I will not cease (God permitting mee life) to passe through all manner of English Husbandry and Huswifery whatsoeuer, without omission of the least scruple that can any way belong to either of their knowledges. Now gentle reader whereas you may be driuen to some amazement, at two titles which insue in the booke, namely, a former part before the first, and the first part, you shall vnderstand that those first sheetes were detained both from the Stationer and me, till the booke was almost all printed; and my selfe by extreame sicknesse kept from ouer-viewing the same, wherefore I must intreate your fauour in this impression and the rather in as much as there wanteth neither any of the words or matter whatsoeuer: Farewell.

Thine G. M.



A FORMER PART, before the first Part: Being an absolute perfect Introduction into all the Rules of true Husbandry; and must first of all be read, or the Readers labour will be frustrate.



CHAP. I.

The Proem of the Author. What a Husbandman is: His Vtilitie and Necessitie.

It is a common Adage in our English speech, that a man generally seene in all things can bee particularly perfect or compleate in none: Which Prouerbe there is no question will both by the curious and enuious be heauily imposed vpon my backe, because in this, and other workes, I haue delt with many things of much importance, and such as any one of them would require a whole liues experience, whereas neither my Birth, my Education, nor the generall course of my life can promise no singularitie in any part of those Artes they treate of: but for suggestions (the liberty whereof the wisedome of Kings could neuer bridle) let them poison themselues with their owne gall, they shall not so much as make me looke ouer my shoulder from my labour: onely to the curteous and well meaning I giue this satisfaction, I am but onely a publique Notary, who record the most true and infallible experience of the best knowing Husbands in this land.

Besides, I am not altogether vnseene in these misteries I write of: for it is well knowne I followed the profession of a Husbandman so long my selfe, as well might make mee worthy to be a graduate in the vocation: wherein my simplicitie was not such but I both obserued well those which were esteemed famous in the profession, and preserued to my selfe those rules which I found infallible by experience. Virgill was an excellent Poet, and a seruant, of trusty account, to Augustus, whose court and study-imployments would haue said he should haue little knowledge in rurall businesse, yet who hath set downe more excellently the manner of Italian Husbandry then himselfe, being a perfect lanthorne, from whose light both Italie and other countries haue seene to trace into the true path of profit and frugallitie? Steuens and Libault, two famous Phisitions, a profession that neuer medleth with the Plough, yet who hath done more rarely! nay, their workes are vtterly vncontrolable touching all manner of french Husbandry whatsoeuer; so my selfe although by profession I am onely a horse-man, it being the predominant outward vertue I can boast of, yet why may not I, hauing the sence of man, by the ayde of obseruation and relation, set downe all the rules and principles of our English Husbandry in as good and as perfect order as any of the former? there is no doubt but I may and this I dare bouldly assure vnto all Readers that there is not any rule prescribed through this whole worke, but hath his authoritie from as good and well experienced men, in the Art of which the rule treateth, as any this kingdome can produce: neither haue I beene so hasty, or willing, to publish this part as men may imagining, for it is well knowne it hath laine at rest this many yeeres, and onely now at the Instigation of many of my friends is bolted into the world, to try the censure of wits, and to giue aide to the ignorant Husbandman. Wherefore to leaue off any further digression, I will fall to mine intended purpose: and because the whole scope of my labour hath all his aime and reuerence to the English Husbandman, I will first shew you what a Husbandman is.

{SN: The definition of a Husbandman.} A Husbandman is he which with discretion and good order tilleth the ground in his due seasons, making it fruitfull to bring forth Corne, and plants, meete for the sustenance of man. This Husbandman is he to whom God in the scriptures giueth many blessings, for his labours of all other are most excellent, and therefore to be a Husbandman is to be a good man; whence the auntients did baptise, and wee euen to this day doe seriously obserue to call euery Husbandman, both in our ordinary conference and euery particular salutation, goodman such a one, a title (if wee rightly obserue it) of more honour and vertuous note, then many which precede it at feasts and in gaudy places.

{SN: The Vtillitie of the Husbandman.} A Husbandman is the Maister of the earth, turning sterillitie and barrainenesse, into fruitfulnesse and increase, whereby all common wealths are maintained and upheld, it is his labour which giueth bread to all men and maketh vs forsake the societie of beasts drinking vpon the water springs, feeding vs with a much more nourishing liquor. The labour of the Husbandman giueth liberty to all vocations, Arts, misteries and trades, to follow their seuerall functions, with peace and industry, for the filling and emptying of his barnes is the increase and prosperitie of all their labours. To conclude, what can we say in this world is profitable where Husbandry is wanting, it being the great Nerue and Sinew which houldeth together all the ioynts of a Monarchie?

{SN: Of the necessitie of a Husbandman.} Now for the necessitie, the profit inferreth it without any larger amplification: for if of all things it be most profitable, then of all things it must needs be most necessary, sith next vnto heauenly things, profit is the whole aime of our liues in this world: besides it is most necessary for keeping the earth in order, which else would grow wilde, and like a wildernesse, brambles and weeds choaking vp better Plants, and nothing remayning but a Chaos of confusednesse. And thus much of the Husbandman his vtillity and necessitie.



CHAP. II.

Of the situation of the Husbandmans house; the necessaries there to belonging, together with the modell thereof.

Since couerture is the most necessariest thing belonging vnto mans life, and that it was the first thing that euer man inuented, I thinke it not amisse first to beginne, before I enter into any other part of Husbandry, with the Husbandmans house, without which no Husbandry can be maintained or preserued. And albeit the generall Husbandman must take such a house as hee can conueniently get, and according to the custome and abillitie of the soyle wherein he liueth, for many countries are very much vnprouided of generall matter for well building: some wanting timber, some stone, some lime, some one thing, some another: yet to that Husbandman whom God hath enabled with power both of riches and euery other necessary fit to haue all things in a comely conuenientnesse about him, if he desire to plant himselfe decently and profitable, I would then aduise him to chuse for his situation no high hill, or great promontary (the seate of Princes Courts) where hee may be gazed vpon by the eye of euery traueller, but some pretty hard knole of constant and firme earth, rather assending then descending, free from the danger of water, and being inuironed either with some pretty groues, of tall young spiers, or else with rowes of greater timber, which besids the pleasure and profit thereof (hauing wode so neare a mans dore) the shelter will be most excellent to keepe off the bleaknesse of the sharpe stormes and tempests in winter, and be an excellent wormestall for cattell in the summer. This house would be planted, if possible, neare to some riuer, or fresh running brooke, but by no meanes vpon the verge of the riuer, nor within the danger of the ouerflow thereof: for the one is subiect to too much coldnesse and moisture, the other to danger. You shall plant the face, or forefront, of your house vpon the rising of the Sunne, that the vigor of his warmth may at no time depart from some part thereof, but that as he riseth on the oneside so he may set on the other. You shall place the vpper or best end of your house, as namely, where your dining Parlor and cheifest roomes are, which euer would haue their prospect into your garden, to the South, that your buttery, kitching and other inferiour offices may stand to the North, coldnesse bringing vnto them a manifold benefit. Now touching the forme, fashion, or modell of the house, it is impossible almost for any man to prescribe a certaine forme, the world is so plentifull in inuention and euery mans minde so much adicted to nouelty and curiouity, yet for as much as it is most commended by the generall consent of all the auntients, and that from the modell of that proportion may be contracted and drawne the most curious formes that are almost at this day extant, I will commend vnto you that modell which beareth the proportion of the Roman H. which as it is most plaine of all other, and most easie for conuaiance, so if a man vpon that plaine song, (hauing a great purse) will make descant, there is no proportion in which he may with best ease show more curiositie, and therefore for the plaine Husbandmans better vnderstanding I will here shew him a facsimile (for to adde a scale were needlesse in this generall worke, all men not being desirous to build of one bignesse) & this it is:

{Illustration}

Here you behould the modell of a plaine country mans house, without plaster or imbosture, because it is to be intended that it is as well to be built of studde and plaster, as of lime and stone, or if timber be not plentifull it may be built of courser woode, and couered with lime and haire, yet if a man would bestow cost in this modell, the foure inward corners of the hall would be conuenient for foure turrets, and the foure gauell ends, being thrust out with bay windowes might be formed in any curious manner: and where I place a gate and a plaine pale, might be either a tarrisse, or a gatehouse: of any fashion whatsoeuer, besides all those windowes which I make plaine might be made bay windowes, either with battlements, or without, but the scope of my booke tendeth onely to the vse of the honest Husbandman, and not to instruct men of dignitie, who in Architecture are able wonderfully to controle me; therefore that the Husbandman may know the vse of this facsimile, he shall vnderstand it by this which followeth.

A. Signifieth the great hall.

B. The dining Parlor for entertainment of strangers.

C. An inward closset within the Parlor for the Mistrisses vse, for necessaries.

D. A strangers lodging within the Parlor.

E. A staire-case into the roomes ouer the Parlor.

F. A staire-case into the Good-mans roomes ouer the Kitchin and Buttery.

G. The Skreene in the hall.

H. An inward cellar within the buttery, which may serue for a Larder.

I. The Buttery.

K. The Kitchin, in whose range may be placed a bruing lead, and conuenient Ouens, the bruing vessels adioyning.

L. The Dairy house for necessary businesse.

M. The Milke house.

N. A faire sawne pale before the formost court.

O. The great gate to ride in at to the hall dore.

P. A place where a Pumpe would be placed to serue the offices of the house.

{Illustration: This figure signifieth the dores of the house.}

{Illustration: This figure signifieth the windowes of the house.}

{Illustration: This figure signifieth the Chimnies of the house.}

Now you shall further vnderstand that on the South side of your house, you shall plant your Garden and Orchard, as wel for the prospect thereof to al your best roomes, as also because your house will be a defence against the Northerne coldnesse, whereby your fruits will much better prosper. You shall on the West side of your house, within your inward dairy and kitchin court, fence in a large base court, in the midst whereof would be a faire large Pond, well ston'd and grauelled in the bottome, in which your Cattell may drinke, and horses when necessitie shall vrge be washt: for I doe by no meanes alow washing of horses after instant labour. Neere to this Pond you shall build your Doue-coate, for Pigions delight much in the water: and you shall by no meanes make your Doue-house too high, for Pigions cannot endure a high mount, but you shall build it moderately, cleane, neate, and close, with water pentisses to keepe away vermine. On the North side of your base-court you shall build your Stables, Oxe-house, Cow-house, and Swine-coates, the dores and windowes opening all to the South. On the South side of the base-court, you shall builde your Hay-barnes, Corne-barnes, pullen-houses for Hennes, Capons, Duckes, and Geese, your french Kilne, and Malting flowres, with such like necessaries: and ouer crosse betwixt both these sides, you shall build your bound houels, to cary your Pease, of good and sufficient timber, vnder which you shall place when they are out of vse your Cartes, Waynes, Tumbrels, Ploughs, Harrowes, and such like, together with Plough timber, and axletrees: all which would very carefully be kept from wet, which of all things doth soonest rot and consume them. And thus much of the Husbandmans house, and the necessaries there to belonging.



CHAP. III.

Of the seuerall parts and members of an ordinarie Plough, and of the ioyning of them together.

If a workeman of any trade, or mistery, cannot giue directions how, and in what manner, the tooles where with he worketh should be made or fashioned, doubtlesse hee shall neuer worke well with them, nor know when they are in temper and when out. And so it fareth with the Husbandman, for if hee know not how his Plough should be made, nor the seuerall members of which it consisteth, with the vertue and vse of euery member, it is impossible that euer hee should make a good furrow, or turne ouer his ground in Husbandly manner: Therefore that euery Husbandman may know how a well shaped Plough is made, he shall vnderstand that the first member thereof, as being the strongest and most principallest peece of timber belonging to the same, is called the Plough-beame, being a large long peece of timber much bending, according to the forme of this figure.

{Illustration}

This beame hath no certaine length nor thicknesse, but is proportioned according to the ground, for if it be for a clay ground the length is almost seauen foote, if for any other mixt or lighter earth, then fiue or sixe foote is long inough.

The second member or part of the Plough, is called the skeath, and is a peece of woode of two foote and a halfe in length, and of eight inches in breadth, and two inches in thicknesse: it is driuen extreamly hard into the Plough-beame, slopewise, so that ioyned they present this figure.

{Illustration}

The third part is called the Ploughes principall hale, and doth belong to the left hand being a long bent peece of woode, some what strong in the midst, and so slender at the vpper end that a man may easily gripe it, which being fixed with the rest presenteth this figure.

{Illustration}

The fourth part is the Plough head, which must be fixed with the sheath & the head all at one instant in two seuerall mortisse holes: it is a flat peece of timber, almost three foote in length if it be for clay ground, otherwise shorter, of breadth seauen inches, and of thicknesse too inches and a halfe, which being ioyned to the rest presenteth this figure.

{Illustration}

The fift part is the Plough spindels, which are two small round pieces of woode, which coupleth together the hales, as in this figure.

{Illustration}

The sixt part is the right hand hale, through which the other end of the spindels runne, and is much slenderer then the left hand hale, for it is put to no force, but is onely a stay and aide to the Plough houlder when hee cometh to heauy, stiffe, and strong worke, and being ioyned with the rest presenteth this figure.

{Illustration}

The seauenth part is the Plough-rest, which is a small peece of woode, which is fixt at one end in the further nicke of the Plough head, and the other end to the Ploughs right-hand hale, as you may see by this figure.

{Illustration}

The eight part is called the shelboard, and is a broad board of more then an inche thicknesse, which couereth all the right side of the Plough, and is fastned with two strong pinnes of woode through the sheath, and the right-hand hale, according to this figure.

{Illustration}

The ninth part is the coulture, which is a long peece of Iron, made sharpe at the neather end, and also sharpe on one side and being for a stiffe clay it must be straight without bending, which passeth by a mortisse-hole through the beame, and to this coulture belongeth an Iron ring, which windeth about the beame and keepeth it in strength from breaking as may appeare by this figure.

{Illustration}

The tenth part of a compleate Plough, is the share; which is fixed to the Plough head, and is that which cutteth and turneth vp the earth: if it be for a mixt earth then it is made without a wing, or with a very small one, but if it be for a deepe, or stiffe clay, then it is made with a large wing, or an outward point, like the figure following.

{Illustration}

The eleuenth part of a perfect Plough is called the Plough foote, and is through a mortisse-hole fastned at the farre end of all the beame with a wedge or two, so as the Husbandman may at his discretion set it higher or lower, at his pleasure: the vse of it is to giue the Plough earth, or put it from the earth, as you please, for the more you driue it downeward, the more it raiseth the beame from the ground, and maketh the Irons forsake the earth, and the more you driue it vpward the more it letteth downe the beame, and so maketh the Irons bite the sorer; the figure whereof is this.

{Illustration}

Thus haue you all the parts and members of a Plough, and how they be knit and ioyned together, wherein I would wish you to obserue to make your Plough-wright euer rather giue your Plough land then put her from the land, that is, rather leaning towards the earth and biting sore, then euer slipping out of the ground: for if it haue two much earth the Husbandman may help it in the houlding, but if it haue too little, then of necessitie it must make foule worke: but for as much as the error and amends lye both in the office of the Plough-wright, I will not trouble the Husbandman with the reformation thereof.

Now you shall vnderstand that there is one other thing belonging to the Plough, which albe it be no member thereof, yet is it so necessary that the Husbandman which liueth in durty and stiffe clayes can neuer goe to Plough without it, and it is called the Aker-staffe, being a pretty bigge cudgell, of about a yarde in length, with an Iron spud at the end, according to this figure:

{Illustration}

This Akerstaffe the Husbandman is euer to carry within his Plough, and when at any time the Irons, shelboard, or Plough, are choaked with durt, clay, or filth, which will cling about the ould stubble, then with this Akerstaffe you shall put the same off (your Plough still going) and so keepe her cleane and smooth that your worke may lye the handsomer; and this you must euer doe with your right hand: for the Plough choaketh euer on the shelboard side, and betweene the Irons. And thus much touching the perfect Plough, and the members thereof.



CHAP. IIII.

How the Husbandman shall temper his Plough, and make her fit for his worke.

A Plough is to a Husbandman like an Instrument in the hand of a Musition, which if it be out of tune can neuer make good Musicke, and so if the Plough, being out of order, if the Husbandman haue not the cunning to temper it and set it in the right way, it is impossible that euer his labour should come to good end.

It is very necessary then that euery good Husbandman know that a Plough being perfectly well made, the good order or disorder thereof consisteth in the placing of the Plough-Irons and the Plough-foote. Know then, that for the placing of the Irons, the share would be set to looke a little into the ground: and because you shall not bruise, or turne, the point thereof, you shall knocke it fast vpon the head, either with a crooked Rams-horne, or else with some piece of soft Ash woode: and you shall obserue that it stand plaine, flat, and leuell, without wrying or turning either vpward or downeward: for if it runne not euen vpon the earth it will neuer make a good furrow, onely as before I said, the point must looke a little downeward.

Now, for the coulture, you must place it slopewise through the beame, so as the point of it and the point of the share may as it were touch the ground at one instant, yet if the coulture point be a little thought the longer it shall not be amisse: yet for a more certaine direction and to try whether your Irons stand true I or no, you shall take a string, and measure from the mortisse-hole through which the coulture passeth, to the point of the coulture, and so keeping your vpper hand constant lay the same length to the of point your share, and if one measure serue them both right, there being no difference betweene them, then the Irons stand true for their length, otherwise they stand false.

Now your coulture albe it stand true for the length, yet it may stand either too much to the land, or too much from the land, either of which is a great errour, and will keepe the Plough from going true: your coulture therefore shall haue certaine wedges of ould dry Ash woode, that is to say, one before the coulture on the vpper side the beame, and another on the land side, or left side, the coulture on the vpper side the beame also; then you shall haue another wedge behinde the coulture vnderneath the beame, and one on the furrow side, or right side, the beame vnderneath also. Now, if your coulture haue too much land, then you shall driue in your vpper side wedge and ease the contrary: if it haue too little land, then you shall contrarily driue in your right side vnder wedge and ease the other: If your coulture stand too forward, then you shall driue in your vpper wedge which standeth before the coulture; and if it stand too backward and too neere your share, then you shall driue in your vnder wedge which standeth behinde the coulture: if your coulture standeth awry any way, then are either your side wedges too small, or else not euen and plaine cut, which faults you must amend, and then all will be perfect. Now, when your Irons are iust and truely placed, then you shall driue in euery wedge hard and firme, that no shaking or other straine may loosen them: as for the Plough foote it also must haue a wedge or two, which when your Plough goeth right and to your contentment (for the foote will keepe it from sinking or rising) then you shall also driue them in hard, that the foote may not stirre from the true place where you did set it. And that these things when a man commeth into the field may not be to seeke, it is the office of euery good Husbandman neuer to goe forth with his Plough but to haue his Hatchet in a socket, fixt to his Plough beame, and a good piece of hard wedge woode, in case any of your wedges should shake out and be lost.

{SN: Of holding the Plough.} When your Plough is thus ordered and tempered in good manner, and made fit for her worke, it then resteth that you know the skill and aduantages in holding thereof, which indeed are rules of much diuersitie, for if it be a stiffe, blacke clay which you Plow, then can you not Plow too deepe, nor make your furrowes too bigge: if it be a rich hassell ground, and not much binding, then reasonable furrowes, laid closse, are the best: but if it be any binding, stony, or sandy ground, then you cannot make your furrowes too small. As touching the gouerning of your Plough, if you see shee taketh too much land, then you shall writh your left hand a little to the left side and raise your Plough rest somewhat from the ground: if shee taketh too little earth, then you shall raise vp your left hand, and carry your Plough as in a direct line: If your Plough-Irons forbeare and will not bite on the earth at all, then it is a signe that you hang too heauy on the Plough hales, raising the head of the Plough from the ground, which errour you must amend, and of the two rather raise it vp behind then before, but to doe neither is best, for the Plough hale is a thing for the hand to gouerne, and not to make a leaning stocke of: And thus much touching the tempring of the Plough and making her fit for worke.



CHAP. V.

The manner of Plowing the rich, stiffe, blacke Clay, his Earings, Plough, and other Instruments.

Of all soyles in this our kingdome there is none so rich and fruitfull, if it be well handled and Husbanded, as is that which we call the stiffe, blacke, Clay, and indeed is more blacker to looke on then any other soyle, yet some times it will turne vp very blewish, with many white vaines in it, which is a very speciall note to know his fruitfulnesse; for that blewish earth mixt with white is nothing else but very rich Marle, an earth that in Cheshire, Lanckashire, and many other countries, serueth to Manure and make fat their barrainest land in such sort that it will beare Corne seauen yeeres together. This blacke clay as it is the best soyle, well Husbanded, so it is of all soyles the worst if it be ill Husbanded: for if it loose but one ardor, or seasenable Plowing, it will not be recouered in foure yeeres after, but will naturally of it selfe put forth wilde Oates, Thistels, and all manner of offensiue weedes, as Cockle, Darnell, and such like: his labour is strong, heauy, and sore, vnto the cattell that tilleth it, but to the Husbandman is more easie then any other soyle, for this asketh but foure times Plowing ouer at the most, where diuers other soyles aske fiue times, and sixe times, as shalbe shewed hereafter. But to come to the Plowing of this soyle, I hold it meete to beginne with the beginning of the yeere, which with Husbandmen is at Plow-day, being euer the first Munday after the Twelft-day, at which time you shall goe forth with your draught, & begin to plow your Pease-earth, that is, the earth where you meane to sow your Pease, or Beanes: for I must giue you to vnderstand, that these Clayes are euer more naturall for Beanes then Pease, not but that they will beare both alike, only the Husbandman imployeth them more for Beanes, because pease & fitches wil grow vpon euery soyle, but Beanes wil grow no where but on the clayes onely. This Pease-earth is euer where barley grew the yeere before, & hath the stubble yet remayning thereon. You shal plow this Pease-earth euer vpward, that is, you shall beginne on the ridge of the land, & turne all your furrowes vp, one against another, except your lands lye too high (which seldome can be seene) and then you shall begin at the furrow, & cast downe your land.

Now, when you haue plowed all your Pease-ground, you shall let it so lye, till it haue receiued diuers Frosts, some Raine, and then a fayre season, which betwixt plow-day and Saint Valentines day you shalbe sure to inioy: and this is called, The letting of Land lye to baite: for without this rest, and these seasons, it is impossible to make these Clayes harrow, or yeelde any good mould at all. After your Land hath receiued his kindely baite, then you shall cast in your seede, of Beanes, or Pease: but in my conceit, an equall mixture of them is the best seede of all, for if the one faile, the other will be sure to hit: and when your land is sowne you shall harrow it with a harrow that hath woodden teeth.

The next Ardor after this, is the sowing of your Barley in your fallow field: the next is the fallowing of your ground for Barley the next yeere: the next Ardor is the Summer-stirring of that which you fallowed: the next is the foyling of that which you Summer-stirde: and the last is the Winter rigging of that which you foil'd: of all which Ardors, and the manner of Plowing them, with their seasons, I haue written sufficiently in the first Chapter of the next part; where I speake of simple earths vncompounded.

Now whereas I told you before that these clayes were heauy worke for your Cattell, it is necessary that I shew you how to ease them, and which way they may draw to their most aduantage, which onely is by drawing in beare-geares, an inuention the skilfull Husbandman hath found out, wherein foure horses shall draw as much as sixe, and sixe as eight, being geard in any other contrary fashion. Now because the name onely bettereth not your knowledge, you shall heare behould the figure and manner thereof.

{Illustration}

Now you shall vnderstand the vse of this Figure by the figures therein contayned, that is to say, the figure

(1) presenteth the plough-cleuisse, which being ioyned to the plough-beame, extendeth, with a chaine, vnto the first Toastree: and touching this Cleuisse, you shall vnderstand, that it must be made with three nickes in the midst thereof, that if the Plough haue too much land giuen it in the making, that is, if it turne vp too much land, then the chaine shall be put in the outwardmost nicke to the land side, that is, the nicke towards your right hand: but if it take too little land, then it shall be put in the nicke next the furrow, that is, towards the right hand: but if it goe euen and well, then you shall keepe it in the middle nicke, which is the iust guide of true proportion. And thus this Cleuisse is a helpe for the euill making or going of a plough.

(2) Is the hind-most Toastree, that is, a broad piece of Ash woode, three inches broad, which going crosse the chaine, hath the Swingletrees fastned vnto it, by which the horses draw. Now you shall vnderstand that in this Toastree is great helpe and aduantage: for if the two horses which draw one against the other, be not of equall strength, but that the one doth ouer-draw the other, then you shall cause that end of the Toastree by which the weaker horse drawes, to be longer from the chaine then the other, by at least halfe a foote, and that shall giue the weaker horse such an aduantage, that his strength shall counterpoyse with the stronger horse. Now there be some especiall Husbandmen that finding this disaduantage in the Toastree, and that by the vncertaine shortening, and lenthening of the Toastree, they haue sometimes more disaduantaged the strong horse, then giuen helpe to the weake, therefore they haue inuented another Toastree, with a double chaine, and a round ring, which is of that excellent perfection in draught, that if a Foale draw against an olde horse, yet the Foale shall draw no more then the abilitie of his owne strength, each taking his worke by himselfe, as if they drew by single chaines. Now because this Toastree is such a notable Implement both in Plough, Cart, or Waine, and so worthy to be imitated of all good husbands, I thinke it not amisse to shew you the figure thereof.

{Illustration: The Toastree with double chaines.}

(3) The Swingletrees, being pieces of Ash wood cut in proportion afore-shewed, to which the Treates, by which the horses draw, are fastned with strong loopes.

(4) The Treates by which the horses draw, being strong cords made of the best Hempe.

(5) The place betweene the Treats, where the horses must stand.

(6) The Hames, which girt the Collers about, to which the other end of the Treats are fastned, being compassed pieces of wood, eyther cleane Ash, or cleane Oake.

(7) The round Withes of wood, or broad thongs of leather, to put about the horses necke, to beare the maine chayne from the ground, that it trouble not the horses in their going.

(8) The Single-linckes of Iron, which ioyne the Swingle-trees vnto the Toastrees.

(9) The Belly-bands, which passe vnder the belly of the horse, and are made fast to both sides of the Treates, keeping them downe, that when the horse drawes, his coller may not choake him: being made of good small line or coard.

(10) The Backe-bands, which going ouer the horses backe, and being made fast to both sides of the Treates, doe hold them, so as when the horses turne, the Treates doe not fall vnder their feete.

{SN: How many beasts in a plough.} Thus I haue giuen you the perfect portraiture of a well yoakt Plough, together with his Implements, and the vse of them, being the best which hath yet beene found out by any of our skilfullest English Husbandmen, whose practise hath beene vpon these deepe, stiffe, blacke clayes. Now you shall vnderstand, that for the number of Cattell to be vsed in these ploughes, that in fallowing your land, and plowing your Pease-earth, eight good Cattell are the best number, as being the strongest, and within the compasse of gouernment, whereas more were but troublesome, and in all your other Ardors, sixe good beasts are sufficient, yet if it be so, that eyther want of abilitie, or other necessity vrge, you shall know that sixe beasts will suffice eyther to fallow, or to plow Pease-earth, and foure beasts for euery other Ardor or earing: and lesse then this number is most insufficient, as appeares by daily experience, when poore men kill their Cattell onely by putting them to ouer-much labour. And thus much touching the plowing of the blacke clay.



CHAP. VI.

The manner of plowing the white or gray Clay, his Earings, Plough, and Instruments.

Now as touching the white or gray clay, you shall vnderstand that it is of diuers and sundry natures, altering according to his tempers of wet or drynesse: the wet being more tough, and the dry more brittle: his mixture and other characters I haue shewed in a former Chapter, wherefore for his manner of plowing (obseruing my first methode, which is to beginne with the beginning of the yeere, I meane at Christmas) it is thus:

{SN: Of sowing of Pease and Beanes.} If you finde that any of this white or gray clay, lying wet, haue lesse mixture of stone or chaulke in it, and so consequently be more tough, as it doth many times fall out, and that vpon such land, that yeere, you are to sow your Pease and Beanes: for as in the former blacke clay, so in this gray clay you shall begin with your Pease-earth euer: then immediately after Plow-day, you shall plow vp such ground as you finde so tough, in the selfe-same manner as you did plow the blacke clay, and so let it lye to baite till the frost haue seasoned it, and then sow it accordingly. But if you haue no such tough land, but that it holdes it owne proper nature, being so mixt with small stones and chaulke, that it will breake in reasonable manner, then you shall stay till the latter end of Ianuary, at what time, if the weather be seasonable, and inclining to drynesse, you shall beginne to plow your Pease-earth, in this manner: First, you shall cause your seedes-man to sow the land with single casts, as was shewed vpon the blacke clay, with this caution, that the greater your seede is, (that is, the more Beanes you sow) the greater must be your quantitie: and being sowne, you shall bring your plough, and beginning at the furrow of the land, you shall plow euery furrow downeward vpon the Pease and Beanes: which is called sowing of Pease vnder furrow: and in this manner you shall sow all your Pease and Beanes, which is cleane contrary to your blacke clay. Besides, whereas vpon the stiffe clay it is conuenient to take as large furrowes as you please, vpon this kinde of gray clay you shall take as small furrowes as is possible. Now the reason for this manner of plowing your Pease-earth, is, because it is a light kinde of breaking earth, so that should it be sowne according to the stiffe blacke clay, it would neuer couer your Pease, but leaue them bare, both to be destroyed by the Fowles of the ayre, and the bitternesse of the weather. As soone as your Pease and Beanes are risen a fingers length aboue the earth, then if you finde that any of your lands doe lye very rough, and that the clods be great, it shall not be amisse, to take a payre of woodden Harrowes, and harrow ouer all your rough lands, the benefit whereof is this, that it will both breake the hard clots, and so giue those Pease leaue to sprout through the earth, which before lay bound in and drowned, and also lay your lands smooth and cleane, that the Mowers when they come to mowe your Pease and Beanes, shall haue better worke, and mowe them with more ease, and much better to the owners profit. For you must vnderstand that where you sow Beanes, there it is euer more profit to mowe them with Sythes, then to reape them with Hookes, and much sooner, and with lesse charge performed. The limitation of time for this Ardor of earing, is from the latter end of Ianuary vntill the beginning of March, not forgetting this rule, that to sow your Pease and Beanes in a shower, so it be no beating raine is most profitable: because they, as Wheat, take delight in a fresh and a moyst mould.

{SN: Of sowing of Barley.} After the beginning of March, you shall beginne to sow your Barley vpon that ground which the yeere before did lye fallow, and is commonly called your tilth, or fallow field: and if any part of it consist of stiffe and tough ground, then you shall, vpon such ground, sow your Barley vnder furrow, in such manner and fashion as I described vnto you for the sowing of your stiffe blacke clay: but if it be (as for the most part these gray and white clayes are) of a much lighter, and as it were, fussie temper, then you shall first plow your land vpward, cleane and well, without baukes or stiches: and hauing so plowed it, you shall then sow it with Barley, that is to say, with double casts, I meane, bestowing twise so many casts of Barley, as you would doe if you were to sow it with Pease. And as soone as you haue sowne your Barley, you shall take a payre of woodden Harrowes, and harrow it as small as is possible: and this is called sowing aboue furrow.

{SN: Of sowing Oates.} Now if you haue any land, which eyther through the badnesse of the soyle, or for want of manure, is more barrayne, and hard to bring forth then generally the rest of your land is, then you shall not bestow Barley thereupon, but sow it with Oates, in such manner and fashion as is appointed for the sowing of Pease, that is to say, if it be stiffe ground you shall sow it aboue furrow, if it be light ground, then you shall sow it vnder furrow, knowing this for a rule, that the barraynest ground will euer beare indifferent Oates, but if the ground haue any small hart, then it will beare Oates in great abundance: neither neede you to be very precise for the oft plowing of your ground before you sow your Oates, because Oates will grow very well if they be sowne vpon reasonable ground, at the first plowing: whence it comes to passe that many Husbandmen doe oft sow their Oates where they should sow their Pease, and in the same manner as they doe sow their Pease, and it is held for a rule of good husbandry also: because if the ground be held any thing casuall for Pease, it is better to haue good Oates then naughty Pease: besides, your Oates are both a necessary graine in the house, as for Oate-meale, for the pot, for Puddings, and such like, and also for the stable, for Prouender, and the feeding of all manner of Poultry. The time for sowing of your Barley and Oates, is from from the first of March till the first of Aprill, obseruing euer to sow your Oates first, and your Barley after, for it being onely a Summer graine, would participate as little as may be with any part of the Winter.

{SN: Of Fallowing.} {SN: Of sleighting Barley.} About the middest of Aprill you shall beginne to fallow that part of your ground, which you entend shall take rest that yeere, and so become your fallow or tilth-field. And in fallowing this gray or white clay, you shall obserue all those rules and ceremonies, which are formerly described for the fallowing of the stiffe blacke clay, knowing that there is in this worke no difference betweene the blacke clay, and the gray clay, but both to be plowed after one manner, that is to say, to haue all the furrowes cast downeward, and the ridges of the lands laid largely open, and of a good depth, onely the furrowes which you turne vpon this gray clay must be much smaller and lesse then those which you turne vpon your stiffe blacke clay, because this earth is more naturally inclined to binde and cleaue together then that of the blacke clay. The time for fallowing of this ground, is from the middest of Aprill vntill the middest of May: at what time you shall perceiue your Barley to appeare aboue the ground, so that then you shall beginne to sleight and smooth it: but not with backe Harrowes, as was described for the blacke clay, because this gray clay being not so fat and rich, but more inclined to fastnesse and hardnesse, therefore it will not sunder and breake so easily as the other: wherefore when you will smooth or sleight this ground, you shall take a round piece of wood, being in compasse about at least thirty inches, and in length sixe foote, hauing at each end a strong pinne of Iron, to which making fast two small poales, by which the horse shall draw, yet in such sort that the round piece of wood may roule and turne about as the horse drawes it: and with this you shall roule ouer all your Barley, and by the waight of the round piece of wood bruise and breake all the hard clots asunder. This is called amongst Husbandmen a Rouler, and is for this purpose of sleighting and smoothing of grounds of great vse and profit. Now you shall vnderstand that you must not at any time sleight or smooth your Corne, but after a shower of Raine, for if the mould be not a little moistned the rouler will not haue power to breake it.

Now for as much as this rouler is of so good vse and yet not generally vsed in this kingdome, I thinke it not amisse to shew you the figure thereof.

{Illustration: The great Rouler.}

As soone as you haue roulled ouer your Barley, & laid it so smooth as you can with your rouler, if then you perceiue any hard clots, such as the rouler cannot breake, then you shal send forth your seruants with long clotting beetels, made broad and flat, and with them you shall breake asunder all those hard clots, and so lay your Barley as smooth and cleane as is possible: the profit whereof you shall both finde in the multiplying of your Corne and also in the sauing of your sithes from breaking, at such time as you shall come to mowe your Corne, and gather in your Haruest.

{SN: Of Summer-stirring.} {SN: Of weeding.} {SN: Of stone gathering.} Your Barley being thus laide smooth, you shall then follow your other necessary businesses, as preparing of your fewell, and other needements for houshould, vntill the beginning of Iune, at which time you shall beginne to Summer-stirre your fallow field, which shalbe done in all points after the same manner as you did Summer-stirre your blacke Clay, that is to say, you shall beginne in the ridge of the land, and as when you fallowed your land you turned your furrowes downeward, so now in Summer-stirring, you shall turne your furrowes vpward and close the ridge of you land againe. As soone as this Ardor is finished, or when the vnseasonablenesse of the weather, as either too much wet, or too much drynesse shall hinder you from Plowing, you shall then looke into your Cornefields, that is to say: first into your Wheate and Rye field, and if there you shall finde any store of weedes, as Thistell, Darnell, Tare-Cockle, or such like, you shall with weede-hookes, or nippers of woode, cut, or plucke them vp by the rootes; and also if you finde any annoyance of stones, which hinders the growth of your Corne, as generally it happens in this soyle, you shall then cause some Boyes and Girles, or other waste persons, to gather them vp and lay them in heapes at the lands ends, to be imployed either about the mending of high wayes or other occasions, and for this purpose their is a generall custome in most Villages, that euery houshoulder is bound to send out one seruant to be imployed about this businesse: whence it comes to passe, that it is called common worke, as being done at the generall charge of the whole Parish. After you haue weeded your Wheate and Rye, you shall then weede your Barley also, which being finished about the midst of Iuly, you shall then beginne to looke into your medowes and to the preparing of your Hay haruest.

{SN: Of foyling.} Now at such time as either the vnseasonablenesse of the weather, or the growth of your grasse shall hinder you from following that businesse of Haruest, you shall then looke into your fallow or tilth field againe, and whereas before at your Summer-stirring you Plowed your land vpward, now you shall beginne to foile, that is to say, you shall cast your land downe againe, and open the ridge: and this Ardor of all other Ardors you must by no meanes neglect vpon the gray, white clay, because it being most subiect vnto weede, and the hardest to bring to a fine mould, this Ardor of all others, doth both consume the one and makes perfect the other, and the drier season you doe foile your land in, the better it is, and the more it doth breake and sunder the clots in pieces: for as in Summer-stirring the greater clots you raise vp, and the rougher your land lies the better it is, because it is a token of great store of mould, so when you foile, the more you breake the clots in pieces the better season will your land take, and the richer it wilbe when the seede is sowne into it: And the season for the foiling of this soile is from the midst of Iuly till the midst of September.

{SN: Of Manuring.} Now albe I haue omitted the Manuring of this land in his due place, as namely, from the midst of Aprill, till the end of May, yet you shall vnderstand that of all other things it is not in any wise to be neglected by the carefull Husbandman, both because the soyle being not so rich as the blacke Clay, will very hardly bring forth his seede without Manure, and also because it is for the most part subiect vnto much wet, and stones, both which are signes of cold and barrainenesse. Now for those Manures, which are best and most proper for this soile, you shall vnderstand that all those which I formerlie described for the blacke Claies, as namely, Oxe or Cowes dung, Horse dung and Sheepes dung, are also very good for this soile, and to be vsed in the same manner as is specified in the former Chapter: but if you haue not such store of this Manure as will serue to compasse your whole land, you shall then vnderstand, that the blacke mud, or durt which lies in the bottome of olde ponds, or else standing lakes, is also a very good manure for this soile, or else straw which is spread in high-wayes, and so rotted by the great concourse or vse of much trauelling, and after in the Spring-time shouelled vp in great heapes, is a good manure for this earth: but if you finde this soile to be subiect to extraordinary wet and coldnesse, you shall then know that the ashes eyther of wood, coale, or straw, is a very good manure for it. But aboue all other, and then which there is no manure more excellent for cold barraine clayes of this nature, the Pigions dung, or the dung of houshold Pullen, as Capons, Hennes, Chickens, Turkies, and such like, so there be no Goose-dung amongst it, is the best of all other: but not to be vsed in such sort as the other manures, that is to say, to be laid in great heapes vpon the land, or to be spread from the Cart vpon the land, for neyther is there such abundance of such manure to be gotten, nor if there were, it would not be held for good husbandrie to make lauish hauocke of a thing so precious.

{SN: The vse of Pigion or Pullen-dung.} You shall then know that for the vse of Pigion or Pullen-dung, it is thus: you shall first with your hand breake it as small as may be, and then put it into the Hopper, in such sort as you put your corne when you sow it: and then looke how you sow your corne, in such sort you shall sow your Pigion or Pullen-dung: which done, you shall immediately put your Barley into the same Hopper, and so sow it after the Pigions or Pullen-dung: by which you are to vnderstand that this kinde of manuring is to be vsed onely in Seede-time, and at no other season. This manure is of the same nature that sheepes manure is, and doth last but onely for one yeere, onely it is much hotter, as being in the greatest extremitie of heate. Now if it happen that you cannot get any of this Pigions or Pullen-dung, because it is scarce, and not in euery mans power, if then you take Lime and sow it vpon your land in such sort as is before said of the Pigions-dung, and then sow your corne after it, you shall finde great profit to come thereon, especially in colde wet soiles, such as for the most part, these gray white clayes are.

{SN: Of sowing Wheate.} After your land is foild, which worke would be finished by the middest of September, then you shall beginne to sow your Wheate, Rye, and Maslin, which in all things must be done as is before set downe for the blacke clay, the choice of seede, and euery obseruation being all one: for Wheate not taking delight in a very rich ground, doth prosper best vpon this indifferent soile. Whence it comes that in these gray white clayes, you shall for the most part, see more Wheate sowne then any other Graine whatsoeuer. But as touching your Rye and Maslin, that euer desires a rich ground and a fine mould, and therefore you shall make choise of your better earth for that Seede, and also obserue to helpe it with manure, or else sheepes folding, in such manner as is described in the former Chapter, where I spake of the sowing of Wheate, Rye, and Maslin.

{SN: Of winter-ridging.} As soone as you haue sowne your Wheate, Rye, and Maslin, you shall then about the latter end of October, beginne to Winter ridge, or set vp your land for the whole yeere: which you shall doe in all points, as you doe vpon the blacke clay, without any change or alteration. And the limitation for this Ardor is, from the latter end of October vntill the beginning of December, wherein your yeeres worke is made perfect and compleate.

{SN: Obseruations.} Now you shall vnderstand, that although I haue in this generall sort passed ouer the Ardors and seuerall Earings of this white or gray clay, any of which are in no wise to be neglected: yet there are sundry other obseruations to be held of the carefull Husbandman, especially in the laying of his land: as thus, if the soile be of good temper, fruitfull, drie, and of a well mixed mould, not being subiect to any naturall spring or casting forth of moisture, but rather through the natiue warmth drying vp all kinde of fluxes or colde moistures, neyther binding or strangling the Seede, nor yet holding it in such loosenesse, that it loose his force of increasing, in this case it is best to lay your lands flat and leuell, without ridges or furrowes, as is done in many parts of Cambridge-shire, some parts of Essex, and some parts of Hartford-shire: but if the clay be fruitfull and of good temper, yet either by the bordering of great hils, the ouer-flow of small brookes, or some other casuall meanes it is subiect to much wet or drowning, in this case you shall lay your lands large and high, with high ridges and deepe furrowes, as generally you see in Lincolne-shire, Nottingham-shire, Huntington-shire, and most of the middle Shires in England. But if the land be barraine, colde, wet, subiect to much binding, and doth bring forth great store of weedes, then you shall lay your land in little stiches, that is to say, not aboue three or foure furrowes at the most together, as is generally seene in Middlesex, Hartford-shire, Kent and Surrey: for by that meanes neither shall the land binde and choake the Corne, nor shall the weede so ouer-runne it, but that the Husbandman may with good ease helpe to strengthen and clense it, the many furrowes both giuing him many passages, whereby he may correct those enormities, and also in such sort conuaying away the water and other moistures, that there cannot be made any land more fruitfull.

{SN: Of the Plough.} Now to speake of the Plough which is best and most proper for this gray or white clay, of which we now speake, you shall vnderstand that it differeth exceeding much from that of which we spake concerning the blacke clay: I, and in such sort, that there is but small alliance or affinitie betweene them: as thus for example:

First, it is not so large and great as that for the blacke clay: for the head thereof is not aboue twentie inches in length, and not aboue one inch and a halfe in thicknesse, the maine beame thereof is not aboue fiue foot long, & the rest is broader by an inch and more then that for the blacke clay: this Plough also hath but one hale, & that is onely the left hand Hale: for the Plough-staffe, or Aker-staffe serueth euer in stead of the right hand Hale, so that the Rough-staues are fixed, the vpper vnto the shelboard, and the neather vnto the Plough-rest, as for your better vnderstanding you may perceiue by this figure.

{Illustration: The Plough with one Hale.}

Now you shall vnderstand that the especiall care which is to be held in the making of this Plough, is, that it be wide and open in the hinder part, that it may turne and lay the furrowes one vpon another: whereas if it should be any thing straitned in the hinder part, considering that this clay naturally is somewhat brittle of it selfe, and that the furrowes which you plow must of necessitie be very narrow and little, it were not possible so to lay them, but that they would fall downe backe againe, and inforce the Plow-man to lose his labour. Also you shall vnderstand that whereas in the former plough, which is for the blacke clay, you may turne the shelboard, that is, when the one end is worne, you may eftsoones turne the other, and make it serue the like season: in this Plough you must neuer turne the shelboard, because the rising wing of the Share will so defend it, that it will euer last as long as the Plough-head, without change or turning.

Now for the Irons belonging vnto this Plough, which is the Share and Coulture, there is more difference in them then in the Plough: for to speake first of the Share, whereas the former Share for the blacke clay, was made broad, plaine, and with a large wing, this Share must be made narrow, sharpe, and small, with no wing at all, hauing from the vpper part thereof, close by the shelboard, a certaine rising wing, or broad piece of Iron, which comming vp and arming that part of the shelboard which turnes ouer the land, defends the wood from the sharpe mould, which hauing the mixture of pible stone in it, would otherwise in lesse then one dayes worke consume the shelboard vnto nothing, forcing the Plow-man to much trouble and double cost. The fashion of the Share is presented in this Figure following.

{Illustration: The Share.}

This Share is onely made that it may take a small furrow, and so by breaking the earth oftner then any other Share, causeth the land to yeeld a good and plentifull mould, and also keepe it from binding or choaking the seede when it is cast into it.

Now for the Coulture, it differeth from the former Coulture both in breadth and thicknesse, but especially in compasse: for whereas the former Coulture for the blacke clay, was made straight, narrow, and thicke, this must be compassed like an halfe bent bow: it must be broader then three fingers, and thinner then halfe an inche, according to this Figure.

{Illustration: The Coulture.}

Now when these Irons, the Shelboard, and other implements are fixed vnto the Plough, you shall perceiue that the Plough will carry the proportion of this Figure following.

{Illustration: The Plough for the gray Clay.}

Hauing thus shewed you the substance, difference, and contraries of these two Ploughs, which belong to these two seuerall clayes, the blacke and gray, you shall vnderstand that there is no clay-ground whatsoeuer, which is without other mixture, but one of these Ploughs will sufficiently serue to eare and order it: for all clayes are of one of these tempers.

{SN: The vse and handling.} Now for the vse and manner of handling or holding this Plough, it differeth nothing in particular obseruation from the vse and handling of the Plough formerly described, more then in the largenesse and smalnesse of the furrowes: for as before I said, whereas the blacke clay must be raised with a great furrow, and a broad stitch, this gray clay must be raised with a small furrow, and a narrow stitch: and although this plough haue nothing but a left hand Hale, yet considering the Plough-staffe, vpon which the Plow-man resteth his right hand, it is all one as if he had a right. And indeede, to make your knowledge the more perfect, you shall know that these gray clayes are generally in their owne natures so wet, tough, and slimy, and doe so clogge, cleaue, and choake vp the Plough, that hee which holds it shall haue enough to doe with his right hand onely to clense and keepe the Plough from choaking, insomuch that if there were another Hale, yet the Plow-man should haue no leasure to hold it.

{SN: Of the draught or Teame.} Now for the Draught or Teame which should draw this Plough, they ought in all points, as well in strength as tryuing to be the same with those before shewed for the vse of the blacke clay: as namely, eyther Oxen or Horse, or Horse and Oxen mixt together, according to the custome of the soile wherein the Plow-man liues, or his abilitie in prouision, obseruing euer to keepe his number of beasts for his Plough certaine, that is to say, for fallowing, and Pease-earth, neuer vnder sixe, and for all other Ardors foure at the least. And thus much for the plowing of this gray or white clay.



CHAP. VII.

The manner of plowing the red-Sand, his Earings, Plough, and Implements.

Next vnto these Clayes, which are soiles simple and vncompound, as being perfect in their owne natures, without the helpe of other mixtures, I place the Sand soiles, as being of like qualitie, not borrowing any thing but from their owne natures, nor breeding any defects more then their owne naturall imperfections: and of Sands, sith the red Sand is the best and most fruitfull, therefore it is fit that it take prioritie of place, and be here first spoken of.

You shall then vnderstand that this red Sand, albeit it is the best of Sands, yet it is the worst of many soiles, as being of it selfe of such a hot and drie nature, that it scorcheth the seede, and dryeth vp that nutriment and fatnesse which should occasion increase: whereby it comes to passe, that the Barley which growes vpon this red Sand is euer more yealow, leane and withered, then that which growes vpon the clayes or other mixt earths. This Sand especially taketh delight in Rye, because it is a Graine which loues warmth aboue all other, and yet notwithstanding, if it be well ordered, manured and plowed, it will bring forth good store of Barley, albeit the Barley be not so good as Clay-Barley, either for the colour, or for the yeeld, whether it be in meale or in Malt.

{SN: Of Fallowing.} Now for the manner of Earing or plowing this redde Sand, it differeth much from both the former soyles, insomuch that for your better vnderstanding, I must in many places alter my former methode, yet so little as may be, because I am loath to alter or clogge the memory of the Reader: wherefore to pursue my purpose. As soone as Christmas is ended, that is to say, about the middest of Ianuary, you shall goe with your Plough into that field where the Haruest before did grow your Rye, and there you shall in your plowing cast your lands downe-ward, and open the ridges well, for this yeere it must be your fallow field: for as in the former soiles, wee did diuide the fields either into three parts, that is, one for Barley and Wheate, another for Pease, and the third fallow, which is the best diuision: or into foure parts, that is, one for Wheate and Rye, another for Barley, a third for Pease, and a fourth fallow, which is the worst diuision and most toilesome, so in this red Sand soile, we must euer diuide it into three parts, that is, one for Barley, another for Rye, and a third fallow. For this Sand-soile being hot, drie, and light, will neither bring forth good Beanes nor good Pease, and therefore that Ardor is in this place but onely to be spoke of by way of discourse in vrgent necessitie.

Wherefore (as before I said) about the middest of Ianuary you shall beginne to lay fallow that field, where formerly did grow your Rye, the manner of plowing whereof differeth nothing from the manner of plowing the clayes before written of, onely that the discretion of the Plow-man must thus farre forth gouerne him, that in as much as this soile is lighter, dryer, and of a more loose temper, by so much the more he must be carefull to make his furrowes lesse, and to lay them the closer together: & also in as much as this soile, through his naturall warmth and temperate moisture, is exceeding apt to bring forth much weede, especially Brakes, Ling, Brambles, and such like, therefore the Plow-man shall be very carefull to plow all his furrowes very cleane, without baukes or other impediments by which may be ingendred any of these inconueniences.

{SN: Of Spring-foyling.} After you haue thus broke vp and fallowed your fallow or tilth-field, the limitation of which time is from the middest of Ianuary vntill the middest of February, you shall then at the middest of February, when the clay-men begin to sow their Beanes and Pease, goe with your plough into your other fallow-field, which all the yeere before hath laine fallow and already receiued at your hands at least foure seuerall Ardors; as Fallowing, Summer-stirring, Foyling, and Winter-rigging; and there you shall plow all that field ouer the fift time, which is called the Spring-foyling: and in this Ardor you shall plow all your lands vpward, in such sort as when you Winter-ridge it, by which meanes you shall plow vp all those weedes which haue sprung forth in the Winter season. For you must vnderstand that in these light, hot, sandy soiles, there is a continuall spring (though not of good fruits) yet of weeds, quicks, and other inconueniences: for it is a rule amongst Husbandmen, that warme soiles are neuer idle, that is, they are euer bringing forth something.

{SN: Of Sowing March-Rye.} Now the limitation for this Ardor is from the middest of Februarie vntill the middest of March, at which time you shall, by comparing former experience with your present iudgement, take into your consideration the state, goodnesse, and powerfulnesse of your land, I meane especially of this fallow-field, which hath laine fallow the yeere before, and hath now receiued fiue Ardors: and if you finde any part of it, either for want of good ordoring in former times, or for want of manure in the present yeere, to be growne so leane and out of hart, that you feare it hath not strength enough to beare Barley, you shall then at this time, being the middest of March, sow such land with Rye, which of Husbandmen is called the sowing of March-Rye: and this Rye is to be sowne and harrowed in such sort as you did sow it vpon the clay soiles, that is to say, aboue furrow, and not vnder furrow, except the land be very full of quickes, that is, of Brakes, Ling, Brambles, Dockes, or such like, and then you shall first with a paire of Iron harrowes, that is, with harrowes that haue Iron teeth, first of all harrow the land ouer, and by that meanes teare vp by the rootes all those quickes, and so bring them from the land: which done, you shall sow the land ouer with Rye, and then plow it downeward which is vnder furrow: & as soone as it is plowed, you shall then with a paire of Iron Harrowes harrow it all ouer so exceedingly, that the mould may be made as fine, and the land lie as smooth as is possible.

{SN: Of the harrow.} Now because I haue in the former Chapters spoke of Harrowes and harrowing, yet haue not deliuered vnto you the shape and proportion thereof, and because both the woodden harrow and the Iron harrow haue all one shape, and differ in nothing but the teeth onely, I thinke it not amisse before I proceede any further to shew you in this Figure the true shape of a right Harrow.

{Illustration: The Harrow.}

The parts of this Harrow consisteth of buls, staues, and teeth: of buls, which are broad thicke pieces eyther of well seasoned Willow, or Sallow, being at least three inches euery way square, into which are fastned the teeth: of staues, which are round pieces of well seasoned Ash, being about two inches and a halfe about, which going thorow the buls, holde the buls firmely in equall distance one from the other: and of teeth, which are either long pinnes of wood or Iron, being at least fiue inches in length, which are made fast, and set slope-wise through the buls.

{SN: The diuersitie of Harrowes.} Now you shall vnderstand that Harrowes are of two kindes, that is, single and double: the single Harrow is called of Husbandmen the Horse-harrow, and is not aboue foure foote square: the double Harrow is called the Oxe-harrow, and it must be at least seauen foote square, and the teeth must euer be of Iron. Now whereas I spake of the Horse-harrow and the Oxe-harrow, it is to be vnderstood that the single Harrow doth belong to the Horse, because Horses drawing single, doe draw each a seuerall Harrow by himselfe, albeit in the common vse of harrowing, we couple two horses euer together, and so make them draw two single Harrowes: but Oxen not being in good Husbandry to be separated, because euer two must draw in one yoake, therefore was the double Harrow deuised, containing in substance and worke as much as two single Harrowes.

{SN: The vse of Harrowes.} Now for the vse of Harrowes. The woodden Harrow which is the Harrow with woodden teeth, is euer to be vsed vpon clay grounds and light grounds, which through drynesse doth grow loose, and fals to mould of it owne nature, as most commonly Sand grounds doe also: and the Iron Harrow which is the Harrow with Iron teeth, is euer to be vsed vpon binding grounds, such as through drynesse grow so hard that they will not be sundered, and through wet turne soone to mire and loose durt. Now whereas there be mingled earths, which neither willingly yeeld to mould, nor yet bindes so sore, but small industry breaks it, of which earth I shall speake hereafter, to such grounds the best Husbands vse a mixture, that is to say, one woodden Harrow, and one Iron Harrow, that the woodden Harrow turning ouer and loosening the loosest mould, the Iron Harrow comming after, may breake the stiffer clots, and so consequently turne all the earth to a fine mould. And thus much for Harrowes.

{SN: Of the sowing of Pulse.} {SN: Of Pease, Lentles, and Lupines.} Now to returne to my former purpose touching the tillage of this red Sand: if (as before I said) you finde any part of your fallow-field too weake to beare Barley, then is your March-Rye, a graine which will take vpon a harder earth: but if the ground be too weake either for Barley or Rye, (for both those Seedes desire some fatnesse of ground) then shall you spare plowing it at all vntill this time of the yeere, which is mid-March, and then you shall plow it, and sow it with either the smallest Pease you can get, or else with our true English Fitches, which by forraine Authors are called Lentles, that is, white Fitches, or Lupines, which are red Fitches: for all these three sorts of Pulse will grow vpon very barraine soiles, and in their growth doe manure and make rich the ground: yet your Pease desire some hart of ground, your Lentles, or white Fitches, lesse, and your Lupines, or red Fitches, the least of all, as being apt to grow vpon the barrainest soile: so likewise your Pease doe manure barraine ground well, your Lentles better and your Lupines the best of all.

Now for the nature and vse of these graines, the Pease as all Husbandmen know, are both good for the vse of man in his bread, as are vsed in Leicester-shire, Lincolne-shire, Nottingham-shire, and many other Countries: and also for Horses in their Prouender, as is vsed generally ouer all England: for Lentles, or white Fitches, or the Lupines which are redde Fitches, they are both indifferent good in bread for man, especially if the meale be well scalded before it be knodden (for otherwise the sauour is exceeding rancke) or else they are a very good foode being sodden in the manner of Leaps-Pease, especially at Sea, in long iourneyes where fresh meate is most exceeding scarce: so that rather then your land should lye idle, and bring forth no profit, I conclude it best to sow these Pulses, which both bring forth commoditie, and also out of their owne natures doe manure and inrich your ground, making it more apt and fit to receiue much better Seede.

For the manner of sowing these three sorts of Pulse: you shall sow them euer vnder furrow, in such sort as is described for the sowing of Pease and Beanes vpon the white or gray clay which is of indifferent drinesse and apt to breake.

{SN: Of Manuring.} Now the limitation for this Ardor or seede time, is from the middest of March, till the middest of Aprill: then from the middest of Aprill, till the middest of May, you shall make your especiall worke, to be onely the leading forth of your Manure to that field which you did fallow, or lay tilth that present yeere immediatelie after Christmas, and of which I first spake in this Chapter. And herein is to be vnderstood, that the best and principallest Manure for this redde-sand, is the ouldest Manure of beasts which can be-gotten, which you shall know by the exceeding blacknesse and rottennesse thereof, being in the cutting both soft and smooth, all of one substance, as if it were well compact morter, without any shew of straw or other stuffe which is vnrotted, for this dung is of all the fattest and coolest, and doth best agree with the nature of this hot sand. Next to the dung of beasts, is the dung of Horses if it be old also, otherwise it is somewhat of the hottest, the rubbish of old houses, or the sweepings of flowres, or the scowrings of old Fish-ponds, or other standing waters where beasts and horses are vsed to drinke, or be washt, or wherevnto the water and moisture of dunghills haue recourse are all good Manures for this redde-sand: as for the Manure of Sheepe vpon this redde-sand, it is the best of all in such places as you meane to sow Rie, but not fully so good where you doe intend to sow your Barley: if it be a cold moist redde-sand (which is seldome found but in some particular low countries) then it doth not amisse to Manure it most with Sheepe, or else with Chaulke, Lime, or Ashes, of which you can get the greatest plentie: if this soile be subiect to much weede and quickes, as generally it is, then after you haue torne vp the weedes and quickes with Harrowes, you shall with rakes, rake them together, and laying them in heapes vpon the land, you shall burne them and then spreading the ashes they will be a very good Manure, and in short space destroy the weedes also; likewise if your land be much ouergrowne with weedes, if when you sheare your Rie you leaue a good long stubble, and then mowing the stubble burne it vpon the land, it is both a good Manure and also a good meanes to destroy the weedes.

{SN: Of sowing Barley.} After your Manure is lead forth and either spread vpon the lands, or set in great heapes, so as the land may be couered ouer with Manure (for it is to be obserued that this soile must be throughly Manured) then about the middest of May, which is the time when this worke should be finished, you shall repaire with your Plough into the other fallow field, which was prepared the yeere before for this yeeres Barley, & there you shall sow it all ouer with Barley aboue furrow, that is to say, you shall first Plough it, then sow it, and after Harrow it, making the mould as fine and smooth as may be, which is done with easie labour, because this sand of it owne nature is as fine as ashes.

{SN: Of Summer-stirring.} {SN: Of sleighting.} Now the limitation for this seede time, is from the middest of May, till the middest of Iune, wherein if any man demand why it should not be sowne in March and Aprill, according as it is sowne in the former soiles, I answere, that first this redde-sand cannot be prepared, or receiue his full season in weather, and earings, before this time of the yeere, and next that these redde-sands, by how much they are hotter and drier then the other claies, by so much they may wel stay the longer before they receiue their seede, because that so much the sooner the seede doth sprout in them, & also the sooner ripen being kept warmer at the roote then in any could soile whatsoeuer. As soone as the middest of Iune approacheth, you shall then beginne to Summer-stirre your fallow field, and to turne your Manure into your land, in such sort as you did vpon your clay soiles, for this Ardor of Summer-stirring altereth in no soile, and this must be done from the middest of Iune, till the middest of Iuly, for as touching sleighting, clotting, or smoothing of this Barley field, it is seldome in vse, because the finenesse of the sand will lay the land smooth inough without sleighting: yet if you finde that any particular land lieth more rough then the rest, it shall not be amisse, if with your backe Harrowes you smooth it a little within a day or two after it is sowne.

{SN: Of Foiling.} {SN: Of sowing Rye.} From the middest of Iuly vntill the middest of August, you shall foile and throw downe your fallow field againe, if your lands lie well and in good order, but if any of your lands doe lie in the danger of water, or by vse of Plowing are growne too flat, both which are hinderances to the growth of Corne, then when you foile your lands you shall Plow them vpward, and so by that meanes raise the ridges one furrow higher. After you haue foiled your land, which must be about the middest of August, then will your Barley be ready to mowe, for these hot soiles haue euer an earely haruest, which as soone as it is mowne and carried into the Barne, forthwith you shall with all expedition carry forth such Manure as you may conueniently spare, and lay it vpon that land from whence you receiued your Barley, which is most barraine: and if you want cart Manure, you shall then lay your fould of Sheepe thereupon, and as soone as it is Manured, you shall immediately Plow both it & the rest, which Ardor should be finished by the middest of September, and so suffered to rest vntill the beginning of October, at which time you shall beginne to sow all that field ouer with Rye in such sort as hath beene spoken of in former places.

{SN: Obiection.} Now in as much as the ignorant Husbandman may very easiely imagine that I reckon vp his labours too thicke, and therein leaue him no leasure for his necessarie businesses, especially because I appoint him to foile his land from the middest of Iuly, till the middest of August, which is both a busie time for his Hay haruest, and also for his Rye shearing.

{SN: Answere.} To this I make answere, that I write not according to that which poore men are able (for it were infinit to looke into estates) but according as euery good Husband ought, presupposing that he which will liue by the Plough, ought to pursue all things belonging vnto the Plough, and then he shall finde that there is no day in the yeere, but the Saboth, but it is necessarie that the Plough be going: yet to reconcile the poore and the rich together, they shall vnterstand, that when I speake of Plowing in the time of Haruest, I doe not meane that they should neglect any part of that principall Worke, which is the true recompence of their labour: but because whilst the dew is vpon the ground, or when there is either raine or mizling there is then no time for Haruest Worke, then my meaning is that the carefull Husbandman shall take those aduantages, and rising earelier in the mornings, be sure to be at his Plough two howers before the dew be from the ground, knowing that the getting but of one hower in the day compasseth a great worke in a month, neither shall hee neede to feare the ouer toiling of his cattell, sith at that time of the yeere Grasse being at greatest plenty, strongest and fullest of hart, Corne scattered almost in euery corner, and the mouth of the beast not being muzeld in his labour, there is no question but he will indure and worke more then at any other season.

{SN: Of Winter ridging.} In the beginning of Nouember, you shall beginne to Winter-ridge your fallow, or tilth-field, which in all points shalbe done according to the forme described in the former soiles: for that Ardor of all other neuer altereth, because it is as it were a defence against the latter spring, which else would fill the lands full of weedes, and also against the rigor of Winter, and therefore it doth lay vp the furrow close together, which taking the season of the frost, winde, and weather makes the mould ripe, mellow, and light: and the limitation for this Ardor, is from the beginning of Nouember, vntill the middest of December.

{SN: Of the Plough.} {SN: Of the coulture.} Now as touching the Plough which is best and most proper for this redde-sand, it differeth nothing in shape and composure of members from that Plough which is described for the blacke Clay, hauing necessarily two hales, because the ground being loose and light, the Plough will with great difficulty hold land, but with the least disorder be euer ready to runne into the furrow, so that a right hand hale is most necessarie for the houlding of the plough euen, onely the difference of the two Ploughes consisteth in this, that the plough for this red-sand, must be much lesse then the plough for the blacke Clay houlding in the sizes of the timber the due proportion of the plough for the white or gray clay, or if it be somewhat lesse it is not amisse, as the head being eighteene inches, the maine beame not aboue foure foote, and betweene the hinder part of the rest, and the out-most part of the plough head in the hinder end not aboue eight inches. Now for the Plough-Irons which doe belong vnto this plough, the Coulture is to be made circular, in such proportion as the coulture for the gray, or white clay, and in the placing, or tempering vpon the Plough it is to be set an inch at least lower then the share, that it may both make way before the share, and also cut deeper into the land, to make the furrow haue more easie turning.

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