A DISCOURS OF HUSBANDRIE USED IN BRABANT AND FLANDERS; SHEWING The wonderfull improvement of Land there; and serving as a pattern for our practice in this COMMON-WEALTH.


LONDON, Printed by William Du-Gard, Anno Dom. 1650.

To The Right Honorable THE COƲNCIL OF STATE.

ALthough it is a dutie incumbent to all Men, as Men; and to all Pro­fessors, as Christians, to love Mankinde, as Christ loved us; and to imitate the God of the spirits of all flesh, who causeth his Sun to shine upon the good and the bad; and although there is a spe­cial delight, to do that which is good and commendable, onely for the love of Goodness it self, and the commenda­bleness of Virtue; Yet, when wee meet with special and powerful encouragements to set us on, and provo­cations to draw forth our affections to laudable endea­vors, wee must needs add som more effectual zeal to the performance of these duties. For mine own part I [Page] may say it without vanitie, that the first of these mo­tives, the delight to do good, in love to the Publick, hath supported mee hitherto, notwithstanding manifold destructions in the waie wherein I have walked. And as it hath been one of my Aims, to have the honor (if possibly I could attain unto it) of serving the Publick. gratìs, and at mine own cost, in the best things: So I have made it a part of my Agencie, to provoke others to do the like, by offering unto everie one, the things which might bee most advantagious unto themselvs, by doing service unto others. And how far my affections have carried mee beyond my abilities in this cours, I need not to mention: this hath onely been my comfort, that having served my Generation generously and freely, I never had caus to repent of what I had don, whether it were resented by others, or not. But now of late, see­ing it hath pleased God, not onely by the settlement of this State in the waie of a Common-wealth, to give to all men a more open door then ever heretofore, to enter upon a concurrence to serv the Publick, that thereby they might both preserv and encreas their own welfare; but that I have found unexspectedly from your Honors som peculiar expression of favor towards my self, upon the account of my publick-heartedness; I must confess, that I am thereby not so much refresh­ed [Page] by reason of that which befalleth to my self, as delighted in the hopeful apprehension of that which befalleth to the Publick, whiles in this particular I am able to perceiv, that the good hand of God hath put the management of his Caus and Work in the hands of Men, whom hee hath endued with a publick spirit, which is a clear testimonie to mee, that hee will build thereon a superstructure, which by his grace upon your waies will redound to his glorie and evince unto the world, that it is not anie private Interest, but his Glorie and the Publick Happiness, which hath acted and doth act, both the Parliament and your selvs in all your undertakings. And verily the consideration of this ve­rie thing, that God hath set in publick places Men that minde the Publick for it self, and seek out those that are so-inclined, although they make no special application unto them (which hitherto I have not don) is more worth to mee then the private advantage, which your Honors favor can bring unto mee. For although the straits, wherewith the times, and my own forwardness to serv others have cast mee, might induce mee to rejoice at the fruit of your Honors bountie towards my self; Yet that is no waies comparable to the sens of joie, which I have at the clear Character, which this hath given mee of the spirit by which you are led; for herein I [Page] perceiv that henceforth the labors of impartial love to­wards the Publick, are not like to bee in vain, as for the most part they have been heretofore, and that there will bee som real encouragement for the making of ra­tional overtures, tending to resolv that grand question, which is proposed by the Psalmist in the name of all men, who, with one and the same accent, say; Psal. 4.6. Who will shew us anie good? Therefore since the Wis­dom of the Parlament hath enacted a waie to answer the Quere, as to the Trade of this Nation (which is a manifest demonstration of their eminent care for the Publick) it hath raised with joie both mine own, and the thoughts of som others to a forwardness of contribu­ting, that which might bee subservient and useful to that design; that as Bees belonging to t'e same hive, wee should bring our honie together, to bee preserved and encreased in one stock for the good of all. In order to this resolution, and as a testimonie of gratitude, I thought it might bee seasonable to off [...]r to your Honors, and under your name to the Publick, this following Epistolarie Discours, which relate's unto the advance­ment of Agriculture, beeing one of the Noblest and most necessarie parts of Industrie belong­ing to a Common-wealth, the first ground of mutual trading amongst men, and the well-spring [Page] of wealth in all well ordered Societies. And if concerning this subject (as beeing a main Inte­rest of State) som cours in due time were thought upon to set forward the Judicial, and regulate the Practical waie of Husbandrie, such overtures could bee made in that kinde, as would sensibly (even to the meanest capa­citie) demonstrate a very Cornu-Copia and fulness to bee atteined of the choisest temporal blessings to supplie all men's wants. And although I cannot say much of mine own experience in this matter, yet Pro­vidence having directed mee by the improvement of se­veral relations unto the Experiences and Observa­tions of others, I finde my self obliged to becom a con­duit-pipe thereof towards the Publick, chiefly now, where there is so favorable an aspect of Patronage from those that are in eminent places towards those that minde publick advantages. Prov. 11.25. It is said in the Proverbs, that hee who doth withhold Corn the people shall curs him; but a blessing shall bee upon the head of him that selleth it. If not to impart the means of livelihood to those that stand in▪ need thereof, when it is in our power to supplie them therewith, bee to withhold the same; and this deserves a curs: then no man can blame mee for the largeness of this communication, from which all [Page] that shall reap anie benefit, are thereby to bee indebted unto your Publick affections, and bless them as the caus, whose influence hath given it this production; for it is included onelie as a pledg of further endevors in the same and other kindes, for which the State in due time will bee beholden to your care and vigilance, when the tenders thereof shall finde that acceptance, and the furtherance thereof, that encouragement which your wisdom and love to the Publick shall finde expedient to bestow thereon. May the God of all grace and good­ness so bless your Consultations for the good of this State, that they may end in the settlement of a firm and lasting Peace, where not onely outward Plentie and Prospe­ritie, but the treasures of a better life in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, may bee enjoied to the prais of God the Father. These are, and shall bee the dailie prai [...]rs of

Your Honor's truly faithful and most humble servant SAMUEL HARTLIB.

A Discours of Husbandrie used in Brabant and Flanders; Shewing the won­derfull improvement of Land there; and serving as a pattern for our practice in this Common-wealth.

IT is a certain thing, that the chiefest and fundamentallest point in Husbandrie, is, to understand the nature and condition of the Lands that one would Till; & to Sow it with such Seeds, as it will produce ei­ther Naturally, or by Art, that which may turn to a man's greatest profit and advantage. I did think I had understood that point (when I went out of England) after thirtie years experience in Husbandrie, and having improved my Land, as much as anie man in this Kingdom hath don both by Water and Fire. But, after I had been a while in Brabant and Flanders, I found I was to learn a new Lesson, in point of Hus­bandrie; for that the barrennest, Heathie and Sandie Lands in those Countries did produce richer Com­modities, by an ordinarie waie of Husbandrie there in [Page 2] practice, then the strongest and richest grounds that were in both those Countries. When I first arrived at Dunkirk, and went to Bridges, (which was near fortie miles) I saw as rich a Countrie as ever my Eies be­held, stockt with goodlie Wheat and Barlie, and excel­lent Meadows and Pastures. The soil began to alter in­to wors, midwaie between Bridges and Gaunt, which were twentie four English miles asunder; and so soon as I was past Gaunt, in my journie towards Antwerp, I did see such Land, for about twentie miles together, that I cannot compare anie ground more like, then the Land by Sandie Chappel, three miles distance from Kingston upon Thames. A great part of the Highwaies, out of the Road and Track of Horses and Carts, did bear Heath; and such Inclosures, on the inside of the Waies, which were not kept in Tillage, did either produce Heath or Broom of their own natures. The soil did not much amend until I came within two miles of Antwerpe, which was thirtie English miles from Gaunt. There I saw a goodlie Marsh or feeding ground for Cattel, which was kept with a strong Banck for beeing overflowed by the River of Sceld, under which notwithstanding there lay Sluces to let in the Water when they pleased, and Ditches were made in the Marsh to convey it back into the River at low Tides when they thought fit. On the other side of Antwerp was Contribution-land lying in Brabant, which naturally was as barren and apt to Heath as anie land betwixt that Citie, and Gaunt. I staied not long at Antwerp before I returned to Gaunt, and dili­gently reviewing the Countrie as I went back, I could finde no other Corn to grow there, then Rie, Oats, and [Page 3] French Wheat; which seemed a sufficient Testimonie to mee of the barrenness of the soil, which would neither bear Wheat, Barlie, or Peas; and for that the former Grains did usually grow in England upon the edg of Forrests and Heathie grounds. A few daies after my return, I fell into discours with a Dutch Merchant, then living at Gaunt, but had lived som years in En­gland, and told him that I did not think that all Flan­ders had yielded so much barren ground as I had seen between Gaunt and Antwerp. Hee answered mee that that Land was the richest part of all Flanders. I smiled to hear him say so, thinking at first hee had jested, and I replied, that I believed, that one Acre of Land between Bridges and Dunkirk, was worth ten Acres of anie Land I saw there between Gaunt and An­twerp (excepting the Marsh-land and som little straps of Meadow by the River side): for one did bear goodlie Wheat, Barlie, and Peas, and was in manie places naturally excellent Meadow and Pasture; and the other would carrie no other Corn, but Rie, French Wheat, and Oats, and would never bear anie consider­able grass, but turn'd presently after it was laid down, to Heath or Broom. The Merchant told mee again, that their best Commodities were pul'd and cut be­fore I went that waie; but hee would prove that the Land did yield more profit yearly then the best Land in Flanders, and that the Bores (for so they term their Farmers) were richer then in anie part of the Countrie. I must confess at first I thought his discours to bee som kind of Riddle, but seeing him earnest in affirming that, which seem'd strange to mee; I desired him to explain himself, how it was possible, that, that Land [Page 4] should yield more profit then the other. I will tell you (said hee) the reason, why it yeildeth more profit, is, becaus that Land is natural to bear Flax, which is called the Wealth of Flanders; and one Acre of good Flax is worth four or five Acres of the best Corn, which groweth between Dunkirk and Bridges; and after the Flax is pull'd, it will bear a Crop of Turneps; which may bee better worth, Acre for Acre, then the best Corn in the Countrie. After that Crop is off, about April following you may sow the same Land with Oats; and upon them Clover-grass seed onelie harrow­ing it with bushes, which will com up after the Oats are mowed, and that year yield you a verie great Pa­sture till Christmas; and the next year following you may cut that grass three times, and it will everie time bear such a burden, and so good to feed all sorts of Cattel, as the best Meadows in the Countrie do not yield the like; and will continue good four or five years together without sowing it. After this wee parted. At first I wondered much at his discours; but much more at the ignorance and sloathfulness of our Countrie which beeing near to Flanders, and manie Merchants and Gentlemen travelling thither daily, none should understand, or at least put in practice these Husbandries, there beeing so much Barren and Heathie Land in England of verie little value, which might by following their Example in these Husbandries bee made more profitable, then the best Land in this King­dom. I after pondered what the Merchant said all that daie and the next, and then began to imagine with my self, what an huge Improvement I might make of my own Estate, if these things were true which hee had [Page 5] told mee; and if God Almightie pleased to permit mee quietly to enjoie it. And to bee further satisfied, I sent another Dutchman in the Town that had been in England, with whom I was grown acquainted, and desired him to inform himself from som of the Bores in the Countrie, whether those things the Merchant had affirmed to mee were true. Hee returned mee an Answer from three or four, whom hee said hee knew to bee honest men and understanding those Husban­dries, that a Gammet of Flax, (which was their Acre, but somwhat more in quantitie then ours) might well produce fourtie or fiftie pounds worth of Flax, if the Land were well dung'd and Husbanded, and sowed with good East-Countrie seed, and that it pleas'd God to send convenient rain after it was sowed, and a sea­sonable time till Harvest. These were no other con­ditions, then I conceived all other seeds and grain to bee subject to, either to prove good or bad. And for the other questions wherein I desired to bee satisfied, concerning the Turneps and Clover-grass, hee told mee they did concur in all with the Merchant, without anie other condition or limitation. The Winter after I did examine divers persons upon the like questions, who I thought did understand that business, and found very little difference in their relations. And in April fol­lowing, which was the chiefest time for sowing of Flax and Clover-grass, I did often walk into the Fields a mile or more out of the Town, and expostulated the business with the Bores, when they were sowing of Flax and Clover-grass-seed, and afterwards observ'd that these things did prosper verie well, on such ground as I conceiv'd to bee extreme barren of its own Nature.

[Page 6]But further to inform my self more fully what an Acre of Flax might bee worth, I bought an English rod of Flax, when it was grown up, neither the best nor worst, and caused it to bee pull'd, water'd, and dress'd by it self; then valued it as Flax was sold the week following in the market at Gaunt, and the seed likewise afterwards. I cast up what eightie rod, which was an Acre, would rise unto, according to that valua­tion; and I found that it came to thirtie six pound, fourteen shillings, six pence, and though by that rate an Acre did not com to fortie pound, yet it made mee believ, that an Acre of good Flax might bee worth fortie pound and more; for that which I tried was but indifferent Flax.

I went presently afterwards to Antwerp, and saw almost everie third or fourth field by the highwaie side for twentie five miles together, stocked with goodlie Flax, far beyond that which I bought to make my Trial off; Whereof som was pull'd, and the rest was ready to pull. The similitude of a great quantitie of Land I had in England unto theirs in Flanders and Bra­bant, which I saw did bear their richest Commodities: and my Loss in England both of personal and real Estate, made mee enquire after all Husbandries of those Countries, of such as I conceiv'd could anie way in­struct mee, that I might learn somthing, or other, whereby to repair my fortunes, if hereafter it pleas'd Almightie God to give mee leav to enjoie my own Estate in Peace again. And beeing one daie in com­panie of som Merchants, It happen'd that discours fell out about Improvement of their barren ground. I said that I had a great quantitie of Barren and Heathie [Page 7] Land in England, that I thought might bee easily brought to bear Flax, Turneps, and Clover-grass as well as their barren Lands did in Flanders and Brabant. To which a Merchant answered, that hee would carrie mee to a man within three miles of Antwerp, who had taken a Farm upon Improvement, which was just such Heathie Land as I describ'd mine to bee. For hee was about five years since to have bought it, and when hee saw it all Heath, hee would not meddle with it; but the Farmer had so improv'd it alreadie, that hee had now growing upon it, a Nurserie of twelv Acres of all sorts of Trees, as Pear-Trees, Apple-Trees, Cherrie-Trees, Chesnut and Walnut-Trees, Oaks, Ashes, Elms, and the like; hee had there also growing, both Flax, Turneps, Clover-grass, Roman Beans and most sorts of Corn, and hee had planted a Hop-ground and an Orchard; hee said hee would tell mee what Husban­drie hee used to make such a strange Conversion, and that I could not pleas him better then to com to see it: and hee did assure mee, that it was worth my Journie to bee inform'd from him: for never a man in that Countrie could better instruct mee, then hee; and I will (said hee) go thither with you, when you pleas. I thanked him verie kindly for his offer, and told him I would wait upon him thither to morrow morning. It was agreed between us both to see this wonder. But I asked him before wee parted, what that taking of a Farm upon Improvement was, which hee before did speak of. Hee answered, that when another had bought the Land, this man offered more Rent then hee could make of it at that time, to have a Leas for one & twentie years, upon condition, that whatsoever [Page 8] four indifferent persons (whereof two to bee chosen by the one, and two by the other) should judg the Farm to bee improved above the Rent at the end of his Leas, the Owner was to pay so much in value to the Tenant for his improving it. I told him it was a waie of letting land I never knew of before: Hee answered it was an ordinarie waie with them of let­ting such barren Land, as men could not tell how to manage themselvs.

The next daie, wee went thither, and the first thing wee saw was his Nurserie of trees, which did grow and prosper verie well, and hee made accompt they would yield him ten thousand pounds before his Leas was ex­spired and as I remember hee valued them one with an­other but at two shillings a tree. Then I saw a little Close of flax, which I esteemed to bee about three eng­lish acres: of which flax hee told mee, the Merchant that brought mee thither before I came from Antwerp, that hee had made a hundred and fiftie pounds, which was by computation fiftie pounds an Acre. I also saw growing there verie good Turneps, and excellent Clo­ver-grass, which hee valued to bee then worth twelv pound an acre. I after saw it cutting the first daie of June 1644, beeing then two foot long, and very thick, and went thither again the nine and twentieth daie of the same moneth, and saw the same grass grown up, and then cutting again, beeing twentie Inches long, I saw it cutting again in August following, beeing then eighteen inches long. I viewed the grounds round about, and found the skirts of the Closes left unploughed to bee heath: and both hee and the Merchant af­firmed, all the rest, where his flax and Clover-grass [Page 9] grew, was heath but three years before. I was ve­rie inquisitive of him to know what husbandrie hee used to the land, for to convert it from heath to bear such rich Commodities. Hee told mee, first hee broke it up with a strong Team of horses, then ploughed it cross, afterwards tore off the heath with a great harrow, then gathered it up and burnt it, and laid about twentie loads of dung upon an acre, and spread it upon the Land; then ploughed it again, and sowed the first crop with Rye, the next with Oats; and when hee had harrowed his oats, hee sowed Clovergrass seed upon them, which hee harrowed with a bundle of bushes under his harrow, and that came, after the Oats was off, to bee of a verie good pasture before Michaëlmas; and this third year hee had mowed the Clover-grass thrice, as I had seen, and it would com to a verie good pasture quickly, to feed till Christmas; and the same hee thought hee should do for three years more; but afterwards the ground would turn to an ordinarie grass. Hee said, hee used his ground where his flax grew, as his other; but first again, about half the quantitie of dung hee did at first; and then sowed it with flax, and upon the flax Clovergrass-seed, as hee had don before upon the Oats. his Roman-beans, his Hops, and Orchard thrived verie well, and all with the same quantitie of dung, proportionably used; for there they know no other Manure. I askt him how hee could make 12 l an acre of this Clover-grass: hee said, either dy feeding Cattle, or keeping Kine, or laying it for seed after the first cutt. For an Acre of it beeing made part into haie, and the rest fed green, would [Page 10] keep four Kine, winter and summer; and an Acre laid for seed might carrrie five bushels, which valued at 6 d. a pound, come's to 8 l. Sterling; besides the first and second cuts of grass and hay, and the after-pasture. Hee said the best time for sowing flax and Clovergrass-seeds was about the beginning of April, presently after a shour of rain. Som conti­nue sowing of flax untill the end of Maie, and som sow after; though I know no caus to commend their slowness, in sowing of it so late. I was not verie in­quisitive after his other Commodities. I saw by his Turneps which hee had sowed upon his heathie land, at his first breaking up, that hee differed in that point from all other husband-men in those Countries, who sowed them immediately after Rye or flax; but those things are left to everie ones ex­perience to proceed therein as hee think's best, ac­cording to his own Observation. Now what I had observed here, and between Gaunt and Antwerp, my Reason told mee, grounded upon som former ex­perience, that there was no land that naturally bore heath, beeing either of a sandie, or loamie mould, but might by devonshiring first (which I prefer be­fore their Husbandrie in Flanders, whereunto adding som Dung, or Lime, or Marle, in fit proportion as shall bee hereafter expressed) may bee made better then the best land, that Flanders or England doth afford. For no man with reason can denie, but that Land is best, which will bring forth such Commodities as will yield most monie to make one wealthie and rich; for though wealth and Riches may consist either in Cattle, Corn, housholdstuff, Plate, Jewels; yet, [Page 11] when those things are valued, wee commonly say, they are worth so much monie. So Regina Pecunia, Monie is the Queen that commands all. Now if the same quantitie of Acres of poor heathie Land, by producing Flax, Turneps, and Clovergrass, will yield more monie then the rich Land, which beareth wheat, barlie, meadow, and good pasture: then by consequence it followeth, that the poor Land is bet­ter then the Rich. And I suppose that they finde by experience in Flanders that their rich land will natu­rally bear those Commodities; otherwise they could not bee ignorant that they do so far exceed their best Corn and Meadows in matter of profit, which ap­peareth clearly by their own valuations: for they value an Acre of flax may bee worth fortie or fiftie pound. An Acre of Turneps worth eight pound, or ten pound; an Acre of Clovergrass worth ten or twelv pound, whereas they value their best barlie may bee worth ten or twelv pound, their best wheat may bee worth five or six pound an Acre, and their best mea­dow worth four or five pound an Acre: Now if yee compare the value of these Commodities together, supposing the rich Land will not bear the other, which are the richer Commodities, so well as the poor; you must needs conclude the poorer Land to bee the bet­ter. And it is a strong Argument to mee, that their rich land will not bear those rich Commodities so naturally as the heathie and sandie Land doth; for though I went often between Bridges and Dunkirk, which is thirtie nine miles, beeing the richest Land in Flanders, and where there is goodlie wheat, barlie, and meadows, as ever my eyes beheld; yet I never [Page 12] saw in all that ground, to my remembrance, one Acre of Flax, or Clover-grass: whereas, on the contrarie, between Gaunt and Antwerp, (which is thirtie miles, and the poorest Land in all the Countrie, much like Sandie-Chappel in Surreie, or som part of the Heathie Land in Windsor Forrest) I have seen manie hundreds of Acres of goodly Flax, Turneps, and Clover-grass, close by the Highwaie side, and their Corn there not anie thing but Rie, French Wheat, and Oats.

It is not onelie dung, which causeth the fertilitie in those Barren, Heathie, and sandie Lands for to bring forth those rich Commodities; but partly the nature of those seeds, which do delight to grow rather in a light and gentle Land, then in one too stiff and heavie. Though it is true, that dung is of that virtue, that it heat's, fatten's, sweeten's, and reclaim's all Barren grounds: and unslakt Lime and Marl are of as great an Efficacie, beeing proportionably tempered with Earth and Ashes, and of longer continuance to enrich Land, as I will shew hereafter. But becaus som will say, that the burning of the Turff (which wee call Devonshiring) will make the ground the wors after three years, I do most confidently affirm, upon my own experience, that, with the addition of Dung, or Lime, or Marl, in fit proportions, there is no such Husbandrie in the World, perfectly to prepare anie Heathie Land and make it nourish, receiv and ripen seeds. For the Earth is, as it were, renued by the Fire, having no other Roots in the entrails of it, produceth nothing for manie years but what one sow's upon it; and shall re­main vigorous enough to serv as long as one of know­ledg and understanding will desire it. And therefore [Page 13] I shall advize you to prefer this Husbandrie upon your Heathie Land before anie other.

Though they have no other manure to mend their Land, but Dung in the Barren and Heathie Land in Flanders and Brabant: yet they have a verie fine way in Brabant to rais a great quantitie of Dung; the practice whereof may much advance the Improve­ment of St Leonard's Forrest. They that keep sheep there, upon the Heaths, hous them everie night, and in the Summer, at noon, first having lai'd three or four Inches of Sand at the bottom of the Floor, wherein they lodg their sheep for a night or two, which tread their Dung and Piss into the Sand, and so they daily use more Sand to bee used in the same manner, until the quantitie bee grown so great, that the sheep cannot conveniently go in or out. Then they cast that out of the Hous, and put in more Sand, and so proceed throughout the year, and by that means three or four hundred sheep will rais one thousand Loads of Dung in a year: and eight hundred sheep two thousand Loads, which, allowing twentie Loads to an Acre, will Dung an hundred Acres yearly: and this Dung by experience doth mightily improve such Heathie Land as St Leonard's is. Besides there is Marl in most part of the Forrests. I account anie mine that is free from stones, and lieth so thick, as it is worth the digging, and near and convenient to carrie to your Land, and of clammie substance, when it is wet, though it seem onely Clay or Loam, yet to bee Marl, and verie good Manure for Sandie and Heathie Land, bee it of what Color it will; as either Graie, Yellow, or Blue; and fortie Loads of it laid upon an Acre in Summer, and [Page 14] presently spread, and so let lie all Winter to incorpo­rate with the earth, then Devonshired the next March, and spread upon the Land and Sow'd, will mightily improve it. I did use six Acres thus, that was nothing but Heath, and had two Crops of Corn from it; and the third year it came of it self to bee as good Grass, as ever I saw grow in anie Meadow in England. I saw another great Improvement in Clement Stoke's Farm adjoyning to the Forrest; hee had Land, that hee let out, two years together, for twelv pence an Acre: at last hee Devonshired it, and caused his hills, before they were burnt, to bee set a just rod square one from ano­ther; and when they were burnt, hee put a peck of un­slackt Lime, which was fortie Bushels, this Lime bee­ing slackt in the hills, with the first Rain was mingled together with the Ashes, and then spread upon the Land, and after Sow'd with Wheat; and brought as good as anie was in the Countrie: brought next year a verie good Crop of Oats, and the year following com to as good Grass as anie hee had to his Farm. This I hold to bee the cheapest Husbandrie: becaus four or five Load of Fern, of which there is store in the Forrest, beeing cut from the beginning of July to the middle of August will burn off twelv Loads of Chalk Lime; and though your Chalk cost dear the bringing thither; yet the Lime will not stand you in twelv shil­lings a Load, and by this waie you save much carriage, and so by consequence may compass to manure year­ly much more Land. As for Example, you carrie but one Load of Lime to your Land, whereas by the other waies you must carrie twentie Loads of Dung; and fortie Loads of Marl. So as by the Lime, if that will [Page 15] do as well, you may Lime twentie Acres as soon as you can Dung one Acre, and fortie Acres for one with Marl; But I advize you to make Trial your selv's of all these several Husbandries, and then to follow that which you finde cheapest and best.

I have set down at large, how I came first to know the Husbandries, and how I was satisfied in the parti­culars. I have also set down three several waies to im­prove your Land; now I will lay down the charge in severaltie; then cast up the profit from one Acre to five and twentie Acres; then to fiftie, and so to an hun­dred Acres; by which it shall appear, that by an or­dinarie waie of Husbandrie, according to the valew, which they make of like Commodities in Flanders, how that by improving a hundred Acres of Heathie Land everie year, as namely of St Leonard's Forrest, and Sowing the Seeds of Flax, Turneps, and Clover-grass, you may in five years improve five hundred Acres to bee worth abov seven thousand pounds a year. The particular charge of an Acre of Flax is as followeth.

First, the devonshiring of an Acre
01 00 00
A load of Lime to put into the Hills
00 12 00
The ploughing and harrowing of an Acre
00 06 00
The bushel of flax-seed at thirteen shil­lings four pence the bushel.
02 00 00
The weeding of an Acre
00 10 00
Pulling and binding an Acre
00 10 00
Graffing the seed from the flax
00 06 00
Watering, drying, swinging and beating the flax of nine hundred weight upon an Acre.
04 10 00
This is the uttermost charge that I could learn: so the whole cometh to
L S D 09 5 00
Nine hundred pound weight of Flax, upon an Acre at eight Stivers the pound, which was an ordinarie price in Gaunt, when I was there, together with the Seed, valued to bee worth
40 00 00
Now if you deduct fifteen shillings, an Acre, more, towards Charges or Losses, the Account beeing alreadie ten pound an Acre, short of the value of their best Flax, yet remain's abov all Charges clear for an Acre
750 00 00
By the same Account you will bee at five hundred pound charge for fiftie Acres and then receiv at fortie pound an Acre, two thousand pound; but clear abov all Charges but
1500 l.
The like Account of a thousand pound charge for an hundred Acres; you receiv upon the Account of fortie pound an Acre four thousand pound; but clear abov all Charges
3000 l.

This thousand pound Charge for an hundred Acres is onely supposed, in case you lay out all the Charge before you receiv anie Money for part of your Flax; but before you are out seven hundred pound, som [Page 17] Money will com in for Flax continually, so as indeed you shall not go out abov seven hundred pound at all in stock, and after the first years profit is com in, you cannot Account that you are out anie thing from your purs, becaus you have your full stock again, and three thousand pound more.

But this is not all the profit you are to exspect from your hundred Acres the first year; for after the Flax is pull'd, which will bee either in Julie or August, the same Land may bee sowed with Turneps, and, prove ac­cording to the Flanders Account, worth eight pound an Acre, over and abov all charges: so twentie five Acres cometh to two hundred pound; fiftie Acres to four hundred pound, and an hundred Acres to eight hundred pound. They sow in Flanders but two Bushels and a half of Turnep seed upon an Acre, which was worth, when I was there, but twelv pound, and plough it once after the Flax is pull'd, they harrow it, and weed it, if there bee caus, and that is all their charge concerning that business.

Both these Crops are sow'd, ripe and readie to bee pull'd within eight moneths; that is, between the be­ginning of April and the end of November: so the profit of an hundred Acres, the first year, cometh to, besides all charges on this Account, unto three thousand eight hundred pound. And the hundred pound al­low'd for charges, may very well com into your purs again within the other four Months.

When the Turneps are pull'd, I would have the same hundred Acres made readie again to bee sow'd with Clover-grass seed alone, about the beginning of April then next following, therein altering the custom [Page 18] of Brabant and Flanders, which is to sow it immediate­ly either with or after the Corn. For I found by Expe­rience in Herefordshire, that it will thrive much better the first year, and turn to more profit alone, then a Crop of Oats and it sow'd together will do.

The charges of an Acre is first ploughing and har­rowing about
00 05 00
Ten pound of seed as it cost mee at Antwerp 1645 at sixpence a pound
00 05 00
Cutting the Grass, twice making the Haie, and threshing out the seed.
01 10 00
So the whole charge is
02 00 00
The second years profit.
Which beeing deducted there remain's clear for one Acre, according to the Brabant and Flanders Account.
10 l.
Which for twentie five Acres cometh to two hundred and fiftie pound, for fiftie Acres, to five hundred pound, and for an hun­dred Acres to
1000 l.
Then an hundred Acres must bee Devon­shired and sow'd with Flax and Turneps, as is before expressed, which, with Gods blessing, may yield the like profit of three thousand eight hundred pound, when to the thousand pound above mention'd for Clover-grass, bee­ing added the whole profit of the second year from two hundred Acres, amounteth to four thousand eight hundred pound.
4800 l.
The third years profit.
Then the last hundred Acres, sowed with flax and Turneps, must bee sowed as before, with Clover-grass seed, which, according to the former accompt coming to one thousand pound, and a hundred. Acres more devon­shired, as formerly, and sowed with flax and Turneps, yielding the like profit of three thousand eight hundred pound, as is before specified, adding thereunto the two hundred Acres of Clovergrass, the whole profit of the third year is
5800 l.
The fourth years profit.
Then the hundred Acres sowed before with flax, and Turneps, must bee sowed as formerly with Clover-grass seeds, which yielding a thousand pound, according to to the former Accompts, and another hun­dred Acres devonshired as formerly, and sowed with flax and Turneps, and yielding like profit of three thousand eight hundred pound, and adding thereunto the three hun­dred Acres formerly sowed with Clover-grass seed, mak's the whole profit of the fourth year
6800 l.
The fifth years profit.
Then the last hundred Acres sowed with flax and Turneps, must bee sowed as before [Page 20] with Clover-grass-seed, which yielding like profit of a thousand pound, and another hundred Acres devonshired as formerly, and sowed with flax and Turneps, yielding the like profit of three thousand eight hundred pounds, thereto adding the four hundred Acres formerly sowed with Clovergrass seed, make's the whole profit of the fifth year
7800 l.

Thus have I plainly shewed what I promised in my Preface, that was, how an industrious man in Brabant and Flanders would convert five hundred Acres of barren and heathie Land from little value in five years to bee worth above seven thousand pounds a year.

You see, you have better means to mend your Land then they have; your Land lieth in a manner under the same Climate; for Chichester and Mecklin are in one degree; the Soil is much alike, as I have shewed, you may have as good a vent for your Commodities, as they have for theirs, if you pleas; and therefore I do not know what Reason can hinder you from putting those things into practice.

You may continue this yearlie profit of seven thou­sand eight hundred a year upon this five hundred Acres. If you will by Liming, dunging, or marling, and devonshiring again the first hundred Acres, laid down with Clover-grass, and sowing it with flax, and Turneps as before, and so go round with everie hundred acres, as formerly in its cours; but having great store of barren and heathie ground, you were [Page 21] better improve that, and let the Clover-grass continue as long as it will. And if after five years continuance it turneth to a mingled Grass; yet that will bee as good as most Meadows and Pastures, that I know in En­gland; for it turn's commonly from a red honie suckle to a white, which wee repute the sweetest Grass, al­though it doth not carrie the greatest burthen. And I am perswaded it will continue longer if it bee kept for Seed and cut but twice, whereas they commonly cut it thrice a year in Flanders alwaies in the Sap, which will kill Fern.

Now I will shew you how they vent these Com­modities, that you may learn the better, how to vent yours. First, they make great store of Linnen them­selvs, and send it most for London, what they make not in Cloth; they have a Market every Thursdaie at a place call'd St Nicolas, almost midwaie between Antwerp and Gaunt, whither Merchants com on pur­pose to buy it, and send it into Holland, and there sell it at dear rates. I met with a Linnen Draper of Lon­don, when I was at Gaunt, and questioning him what vent there was for Flax at London: hee told mee that before these troublesom times, if I had had a verie great quantitie, hee could have helped mee to Chap­men to have bought it off at dearer rates at London, then usually they sold it at in Flanders; for hee said hee did believ there was not less then a hundred thousand pounds worth of Flax brought yearly into England from forreign parts; a great part whereof to his know­ledg was sent from London into Lancashier; there made into Cloth, and afterwards brought back in Cloth, and sold in London; and if times grew peace­able [Page 22] again in England, hee told mee I need not doubt the venting of more Flax at London, then ever I would have to sell; and two honest English Merchants of my Acquaintance did assure mee, that if I could not sell my Flax at London to my content, they would tran­sport it for mee into Holland, where I might fell it dearer, then they sold their Flax in Flanders: for Mer­chants usually sent for Flax out of Flanders and sold it again in Holland, at dearer rates then they paied for it there.

But if you finde that these Commodities thrive with you, and you grow rich by them; I would advise you to send for som workmen out of Flanders, that under­stand the Manufacture of Linnen Cloath, and make your Flax into Linnen Cloath, you cannot choos but gain by it exceedingly, when you are aforehand with the World, if they live by it who fetch it first from London into Lancashire by Land; beeing made in Cloth, recarrie it up; and besides you shall do a cha­ritable deed by bringing in that Manufacture into the Kingdom. For it keep's a very great number of poor Women and Children at Work in Flanders and Holland, that otherwise would not have means to live. So by this waie you should bee sure to vent your Flax, and withall procure a publick benefit to the Kingdom.

The Husbandrie of Turneps is as Common between Gaunt and Antwerp, as that of Flax; for, as there is more Flax sowed there, then of anie other Grain or Corn; so Commonly, after the Flax is pull'd, imme­diately they sow Turneps, and presently after their Rie; what they do not eat themselvs they give unto their [Page 23] Cattel; they will feed Oxen and Kine as fat, as Hay or Oats; the Roots beeing clean Washed, and then Roots and Leavs beeing put into a Trough▪ and there stampt together with a Spitter, and after boil'd in Wa­ter and given to Kine will make them abound in Milk, yet grow so fat withall, that you would wonder at it. The onely difficultie is to make you Cattel eat them at first; but breed them up by hand, as they do there. Others do the same alreadie▪ in manie parts of En­gland, they will take Turneps and eat, or anie other thing you will give them.

To encourage you the more to sow Turneps, I will demonstrate unto you what an Acre of them trans­planted may bee worth by Calculation as they are sold in London. They commonly there sell four or five Turneps in a bunch for a pennie. A rod square bee­ing sixteen foot and a half may bear a thousand eight hundred and nine Turneps, beeing set at half a foot di­stance the one from the other. Now suppose that a thousand cometh to good, and five sold for a pennie, then a Rod of them amount's to sixteen shillings eight pence, and an Acre of them beeing eightscore Rod by the same Account, com's to abov thirtie pound, and therefore certainly an hundred Acres sow'd, may bee very well valu'd at eight pound an Acre one with an­other, when you have brought your Cattel to eat them as theirs do.

I told you before how in Brabant and Flanders they made twelv pound an Acre of their Clover-grass, ei­ther by feeding Cattle, keeping Kine, or by the seed; which, commonly encreasing to five Bushels upon an Acre, was worth eight pound when it was sold, but at [Page 24] sixpence a pound; but beeing sold for two shillings a pound (which price I my self now paid for it) the value of the Seed quadruple's from eight pound to thirtie two pound an Acre; and the man that sold mee seed this year for two shillings a pound, desir's all that I can spare, the next year at the same price, if you get but into the best kind of those they use in Flanders. For when your Neighbors see your Labors thrive and prosper so far as to convert your Land which bore no­thing but Heath, for manie Ages, First into excellent Flax, then into such delicate Turneps, as they never saw before or tasted, and to end with such Clover-grass, as they will admire, when they once see your Crops, and somwhat understand, that you do reap som benefit by them, they will com to you as to an Oracle to ask your Counsel, and bee instructed and de­sire it from you as a favor, at first to buy your Seed at anie reasonable price.

But if you finde that you have more Seed of Flax and Turneps (if you will let them grow to Seed) then you can vent, you must then set up either a Water-Mill, or Wind-Mill, as they do in Flanders, and make them into Oil; both which Seeds mak's good Oil, which you may bee sure to sell in London at good Rates.

And for your Clover-grass-seed, if you finde you cannot sell it to your content, you may choos whe­ther you will let it grow to Seed or not; and if you do not let it grow to Seed, you may cut it once more in a year, then otherwise you could do.

You must change your Flax Seed, though never so good at first after four years, the other Seeds do not so much require it.

[Page 25]I doubt not but these things will seem as strange to you at first, as they did to mee; and therefore I desire you but to try what I propose, upon such profitable Terms, as no man, that is well in his wits, but will venture at them, beeing laid down so plainly to you, as a childe may understand them.

You may observ, that Flax, Turneps and Clover-grass, alreadie grow in England; but there is as much difference between what groweth there, and here, as is between the same thing, which groweth in a Gar­den, and that which groweth wilde in the Fields.

To prevent what may bee strange or troublesom to you at First for want of knowledg, I would advise you to send to Tom or Robin to Gaunt, where by means of som of their old Acquaintance there, they may pro­vide you a servant, who understand's these several Husbandries as well as anie of ours do the Husbandrie in getting Corn; and by observing of his practice, you your selv's, or whom you will appoint may bee sufficiently instructed in a year or two so far, as to Command such things to bee don by others as are not fit and necessarie to bee don by your selv's.

Besides the excessive profit you will reap by Sowing these Commodities, imagine what a pleasure it will bee to your Eies and Sent, to see the Russet Heath turn'd into greenest Grass; which doth produce most sweet and pleasing Honie-Suckles; and what Prais and Reputation you will gain by your Exam­ples, first introducing that into your Countrie, which beeing followed by others, must need's redound to the general benefit of the whole Common-wealth. I do by my Will Command you for to execute no more, [Page 26] then what I would my self to morrow put in practice, if I had Libertie: you should learn these things I have set down by Examples, which I am enforc'd to leav you as a Father's Precepts, and with a Father's blessing to you all, desiring God Almightie to guide you and direct you in all your Actions, I will leav you to his divine protection and providence.


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