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A Short History of English Agriculture   By: (1862-1925)

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A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLISH AGRICULTURE

BY

W.H.R. CURTLER

OXFORD AT THE CLARENDON PRESS 1909

HENRY FROWDE, M.A. PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD LONDON, EDINBURGH, NEW YORK TORONTO AND MELBOURNE

PREFACE

'A husbandman', said Markham, 'is the master of the earth, turning barrenness into fruitfulness, whereby all commonwealths are maintained and upheld. His labour giveth liberty to all vocations, arts, and trades to follow their several functions with peace and industrie. What can we say in this world is profitable where husbandry is wanting, it being the great nerve and sinew which holdeth together all the joints of a monarchy?' And he is confirmed by Young: 'Agriculture is, beyond all doubt, the foundation of every other art, business, and profession, and it has therefore been the ideal policy of every wise and prudent people to encourage it to the utmost.' Yet of this important industry, still the greatest in England, there is no history covering the whole period.

It is to remedy this defect that this book is offered, with much diffidence, and with many thanks to Mr. C.R.L. Fletcher of Magdalen College, Oxford, for his valuable assistance in revising the proof sheets, and to the Rev. A.H. Johnson of All Souls for some very useful information.

As the agriculture of the Middle Ages has often been ably described, I have devoted the greater part of this work to the agricultural history of the subsequent period, especially the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

W.H.R. CURTLER.

May 22, 1909.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

Communistic Farming. Growth of the Manor. Early Prices. The Organization and Agriculture of the Manor

CHAPTER II

The Thirteenth Century. The Manor at its Zenith, with Seeds of Decay already visible. Walter of Henley

CHAPTER III

The Fourteenth Century. Decline of Agriculture. The Black Death. Statute of Labourers

CHAPTER IV

How the Classes connected with the Land lived in the Middle Ages

CHAPTER V

The Break up of the Manor. Spread of Leases. The Peasants' Revolt. Further Attempts to regulate Wages. A Harvest Home. Beginning of the Corn Laws. Some Surrey Manors

CHAPTER VI

1400 1540. The so called 'Golden Age of the Labourer' in a Period of General Distress

CHAPTER VII

Enclosure

CHAPTER VIII

Fitzherbert. The Regulation of Hours and Wages

CHAPTER IX

1540 1600. Progress at last Hop growing. Progress of Enclosure. Harrison's Description

CHAPTER X

1540 1600. Live Stock. Flax. Saffron. The Potato. The Assessment of Wages

CHAPTER XI

1600 1700. Clover and Turnips. Great Rise in Prices. More Enclosure. A Farming Calendar

CHAPTER XII

The Great Agricultural Writers of the Seventeenth Century. Fruit growing. A Seventeenth century Orchard

CHAPTER XIII

The Evils of Common Fields. Hops. Implements. Manures. Gregory King. Corn Laws

CHAPTER XIV

1700 65. General Characteristics of the Eighteenth Century. Crops. Cattle. Dairying. Poultry. Tull and the New Husbandry. Bad Times. Fruit growing

CHAPTER XV

1700 65. Townshend. Sheep rot. Cattle Plague. Fruit growing

CHAPTER XVI

1765 93. Arthur Young. Crops and their Cost. The Labourers' Wages and Diet. The Prosperity of Farmers. The Country Squire. Elkington. Bakewell. The Roads. Coke of Holkham

CHAPTER XVII

1793 1815. The Great French War. The Board of Agriculture. High Prices, and Heavy Taxation

CHAPTER XVIII

Enclosure. The Small Owner

CHAPTER XIX

1816 37. Depression

CHAPTER XX

1837 75. Revival of Agriculture. The Royal Agricultural Society. Corn Law Repeal. A Temporary Set back. The Halcyon Days

CHAPTER XXI

1875 1908. Agricultural Distress again. Foreign Competition. Agricultural Holdings Act. New Implements. Agricultural Commissions. The Situation in 1908

CHAPTER XXII

Imports and Exports... Continue reading book >>




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