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Magnis, who with a patriotic zeal forfook the court, and devoted his attention to agricultural purfuits. When he fettled on his eftates in 1786, he found himself poffeffed of three thoufand native fheep, which returned him one thoufand two hundred rix-dollars per annum. He now poffeffes above nine thousand theep, improved by the breeds of Hungary and Spain, which yield him twenty-fix thoufand rix-dollars per annum. This enlightened breeder conducts his fheep-farm with admirable order and intelligent skill, beyoud all praifc. The fine manufactures of Pruilia are increased three-fold within the last thirteen years; and the encouragement given to the adoption of Merino theep, makes it probable that the country will, cre long, be able exclufively to fupply itfelf with fine wool, which is at prefent partly imported from Saxony by purchafe at the Leipzig fairs before mentioned.

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"The first importation of Merino fheep into this, country, was made by the Emprefs Maria Therefa in 1775; but the fuccefs was commenfurate with the attention paid to them, which was next to none, though there are ftill to be found flocks of improved wool derived from thefe, in the Auftrian ftates, and more particularly in Bohemia and ilungary. The examples of Saxony and Silefia feem alfo to have awakened the attention of the Auftrian government, which is at this time employing agents in Spain to procure Merino fheep.


Anfpach and Bayreuth applied themfelves to this useful purfuit in 1788, and ftill more ftrenuously in 1790. So com plete, indeed, was their conviction of its importance, that there are at this time but few breeders, whofe flocks have not at least begun to introduce the Spanish crofs.

"The Duke of Wirtemberg (who was fond of agriculture,) imported Merino fheep in 1786, and afterwards established a regular fale to his fubjects. The thirtytwo animals, which that brave and skilful General Moreau prefented to the Agricultural Society of Strafburg, were bred by the Duke of Wirtemberg. They had been gratuitously offered to the French General, after the conclusion of the armiflice, and are now net bwasburg at Sulz.

"In other parts of Germany, the fame race bas alfo been adopted with the most decifive fuccefs. The Chamberlain Von Alolk, whofe domain is in Mecklenburg,

has an extenfive flock of them, and the Agricultural Society of Zell maintain, at their coft, a mixed breed improved to the laft degree of fineness. Many of the flocks in the Electorate of Hanover, the Duchy of Brunfwick, the Palitinate, Suabia, Baden, &c. are also indebted to the Merino theep for their palpable improvement. The breed was adopted by Brunfwick in 1783, by Suabia and Ba den, 1788.


"The first man, whofe attention was di◄ rected to this important branch of national economy, was Colbert. This minifter formed a defign of improving the French breeds of theep by importing from Spain and England fuch as were at that time more perfect than France could boaft of poffelling. Colbert's views were ufeful and well-digefted; but they were alfo new, confequently there were not wanting those who oppofed the execution of them. Since that time, however, an able and accurate obferver has ftept forth to undertake this purfuit, and has rapidly caufed the improvement of the French flocks to fuch an extent, that it may almoft be faid to have sprung at once from infancy to maturity. Dau benton is the name of the enlightened agriculturift, who, with a fuccefs equal to his perfeverance, has devoted himself to the cultivation of a race fo important to our fabfiftence, to our clothing, and to a multitude of arts connected with our innumerable wants; a cultivation, evidently tending to releafe France from a kind of tribute, which the annually pays to Spain for fine wool. The breed was first imported from that country in 1776, and Daubenton having, by the experiments made during feven years, ascertained that he had by judicious intermixture produced a breed bearing wool equal in quality to that hitherto obtained from Spain, fent various portions of it to different manufacturers in 1783, and 1784; the refult of which was, that the highest price of the finest wools was offered by them; nay, they even went fo far as to point out qualities, in which this improved French wool excelled the Spanish. Such being the cafe, many landholders directed their attention to fo lucrative an object; and M. Dangevillier, at that time gover nor of Rambouillet, applied to the Spanish Court for a flock, The King gave orders for a felection to be made from the moft perfect breeds, and three hundred and fixty-feven were fent in 1786. They proceeded by moderate journeys to Rume




bouillet, after having paffed the winter in the neighbourhood of Bourdeaux; and from the time of their original departure to that of their final arrival, about three fcore of them died. The furvivors gave rife to the extenfive flock now kept at Rambouillet; and to the confiderable number which have been fold to individuals, as the breed progressively increafed. At first, feveral rams and ewes were given to encourage enterprifing farmers; but as it appeared that thefe were defpifed merely because they were a gift, a fale was fubftituted. The provincial adminiftrations, then established, made application for them, and had a preference. Since that time, and especially of late, the prices at Rambouillet have been much increased, and have indeed reached a height, which appears extraordinary in a country, where it is not cuftomary, as in England, to expend confiderable fums for the purpose of acquiring a theep particularly fuited to the breeder's purpose. The Merino race having thus been proved to carry as valuable a fleece in France as in Spain, an oppofition has next been made to the mutton; thofe, who wished to depreciate it, having afferted that the animal was not difpofed to fatten kindly, and that its flesh was very coarse; affer tions, which have both been experimentally proved to be totally deftitute of foundation. There are at prefent in France more than fifteen thousand of the pure Merino breed, befides an immenfe number improved by the crofs.


"There are few regions of Europe, whofe temperature and foil differ more than thofe of Spain and Holland. The Merino fheep, transported from a fcorching climate to a cold and farthy country, have, nevertheless, preferved, in Holland, the qualities which diftinguish them from other breeds, and have remained vigorouily healthy. It was not till 1789, that Mr. Twent made the first fall importation, which he placed upon his farin between Leyden and the Hague. It confuted of two rams and four ewes, which are now increafed to two hundred, befides thofe fold from it, this being the number to which Mr. T. is obliged to confine himfelf, by the limits of his farm. It is by parting with the leaft perfect animals, and preserving those which bear the angelt as well as finest wool; that he has formed a valuable flock; preferable, indeed, to any in Holland. Mr. Twent lus alfá æraised the different breeds of Holland, particularly thofe of the Texel

and Friesland, with complete fuccefs, and holding forth promife of ftill greater advantages. His fpirited exertions have encouraged others in the fame purfuit, and the public partiality towards the celebrated Merino race, which is founded on experiments in almost every civilized nation of Europe, gives reason to believe that fine-wooled theep will ultimately cause the common breeds to disappear.

"CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. "Agriculturists have told us that animals, which are tranfported from North to South, viz. from a climate less warm than that to which they are removed, will de generate, whether they breed among themfelves, or crofs any other race of the country; and that, vice verfa, animals taken from South to North, improve those with which they are connected. Many facts, however exift, in oppofition to this opinion; befides which, it is easy to prove that the degeneracy complained of, thould be afcribed to other caufes than those which are adduced. When a fufficient number of experiments fhall have been made by accurate obfervers, it will be found from a comparison of them, that want of knowledge, a bad choice, neglect, and improper nutriment, tend as much and even more towards degeneration of the fpecies, than the greater or less degree of heat which prevails under a different latitude. The fuccefs of finewooled fheep at the Cape of Good Hope, proves that this general opinion is not founded upon facts. I am convinced, indeed, after the obfervations which ĺ have collected in Spain, upon the breeds of that country, upon their mode of rearing, upon the nature of the foil and climate, that the general caufes of their fine wools are not thofe ufually fuppofed. The prefervation in its utmost purity of the Merino race, at the Cape of Good Hope, in the marshes of Holland, and under the rigorous climate of Sweden, add an additional proof to this my unalterable principle: finc-wooled sheep may be reared wherever induftrious men and intelligent breeders exift. The Spanish breed was taken to the Cape in 1782, and Lord Somerville received fpecimens of its excellence, with an affurance from his correfpondent, that the wool had rather gained than loft in quality, from its growth of eighteen years in that colony.

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her? Has her connexion with France, a nation hitherto fo fatal to her, produced an electrive movement which leads her to objects of real utility? Piedimont poffcties many flocks both of the pave and improved native breeds. Count Graneric, a man of genius, and a found patriot, a warm protector of arts and of commerce, becoming a member of administration, on his return from his em bally to Spain, conceived the project of fecuring to Piedmont this fource of wealth; for which purpofe he obtained from the court of Madrid permiflion to take from that country one hundred and fifty of the beft Segovian breed, felected by the Prince of Mafferaw. The war, which prevailed at this period, did not permit the government to purfue the progrefs of this new ettablishment; and the lofs of the minifter would have been fok lowed by the lofs of the fine-wooled race, but for the interference of the Academy of Agriculture, and spirited individuals, who have thereby encreafed the prefent flock to five thousand; and unanimoutly affert that the fleece is not inferior in quality to that of the animals originally imported; that in no other refpect has it degenerated; that the cross with the Roman, Neapolitan and Paduan breeds, has been moft fatisfactory in its refults; and that the flesh of the Merinos is infinitely more delicate than that of the pative sheep.


have been introduced. "When the com
inercial fpirit and patriotifin which aus?
mate this nation are confidered, no doubt
can exift but that the Merino theep will
fpecdily be naturalized in that island, and
become a new fource of wealth to a
people ever ready to avail themselves of
fources opened to their habitual industry.
The papers on this fubjećt, "published by
the Board of Agriculture, the efforts of
various Agricultural Societies, as well as
of individuals, prove that a breed, fo in-
timately connected with the profperity
of their manufactures, will meet with the
reception: due to its vaft utility. The
late Duke of Bedford, a powerful patron:
of agriculture, Lord Somerville, the King
of England, and fome other agriculturists,
have procured Merino fheep, froin which
the stock is begining to merenfe. It is
gratifying to fee the head of a govern-
ment, as well as the men moft diftin-
guithed by their influence, their wealth,
and their knowledge, encourage, by all
the means in their power, the most useful
of the arts."

As I thall here, Sir, conclude my sketch-
of Montieur Lafteyrie's publication, it
remains for me only to point out (which
I do with a blush) that Great Britain is,
not from any apparent national antipathy
on his part, but dejervedly placed the laft
in his account. Great Britain, whole
fuperfine manufactures are far more ex-
tentive than thofe of any other nation,
whole vital interefts are therefore mate-
rially connected with the internal produce-
of the article, which forms the fubject of
this paper-Great Britain is fill invêtive,
when the difficulties of procuring the ar
ticle muft, to all appearance, annually
increase, and the power to grow it at
home, in full perfection, as well as with
immenfe advantage, is become incontro-
Your's, &c.
Hill Lodge, near Nottinghum,
January 4th, 1807.

"England, which has of late years fhone
fo pre-eminent in her various improve-
ments, muft, nevertheless, be charged
with neglecting almost to the prefent mo-
ment the improvement of fine wools.
Thofe for combing, not lefs ufeful in cer-
tain kinds of manufacture, have had the
preference in that country, and the per-
feverance of breeders has been rewardes
by producing admirable wool of its kind.
The prejudices of other countries have
found their way hither; and it has been
conftantly afferted that the fineness of
the fleece depended upon climate, foil,
and pasturage; confequently that in Eng-
land, the quality of Spanith wool muftford, given by the Rev. Mr. Lyfons,
in the 1t vol. recently publifhed, of his
Magun Britannia, a work of immenfe

degenerate. The merchants and manufacturers, mifled by the fame prejudices as the breeders, have embraced the fame opinion; but the firft were guided, in fome degree, by different motives: they feared that interior fuccefs might diminish the advantages which importation produced to them. Little more than a dozen years ago the English nation did not know the Merino breed, in its living fitate; fince which, fome few of that valuable race

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
of the of Bed-


Every British patriot will readily acknowledge the obligations of the Country to Mr. Thompfon, for his well-timed publication on a fubject fo important to our Commercial and Agricultural interests, but which at this mo. ment is rendered of fuch fingular confequence by the restrictions recently adopted in Spain.

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extent and labour, is deemed by perfons who poffefs the best information refpecting multifarious fubjects treated in it, to contain a confiderable number of errors and inadvertencies; fuch indeed as are fearcely to be avoided in a compilation of this nature, and which that gentleman will, no doubt, be glad to correct. I fhall beg leave to point out a few which happen to come within the compafs of my own perfonal knowledge or immediate obfervation.

Page 2. Edward the Elder is faid by Mr. Lyfous to have built a fortress at Bedford, on the fouth fide of the river Oufe. In the fame page we are told that Bedford Cattle was built by the Beauchamps, probably on the feite of King Edward's fortress. Nevertheless, Mr. L. truly remarks, p. 46, "that the veftiges of the Caftle are to be feen at the back of the Swan Inn. On the Keep is now a Bowling Green." But the Swan Inn is, and the Caffle was, not on the south, but the north, fide of the river Oufe. Mr. L. fubjons" that the fcite of the Caftle, with the Swan Inn, is now the property of the Duke of Bedford, and it is prefumed that it paffed from the Goftwicks, by purchafe, to the Marlborough family, and from them with feveral other eftates which had heen in the Goftwicks, to the Duke of Bedford's grandfather." But why rifque random prefumptions in a work, whofe efence it is to exhibit plain matter of fact? The Swan Inn and Cattle Clofe adjoining, were purchafed by the late Duke of Bedford foon after he came of age, of John Staines, efq. of Biddenham, a village near Bedford, who inherited the eftate from his father, to whom it was about half a century ago devited by the will of Mr. Henry Horton, an attorney of great eminence and refpeétability, many years refident in Bedford.

P. 3. We are informed that Sir Samuel Lake's houfe was either Hawnes.or Wood-end. But this was never before fuppofed to admit of a doubt. Sir Samuel Lake's boufe was unquestionably fituated at Wood-end, in the parith of Cople, about five miles from Bedford. It is now a farm-houte, belonging to the Duke of Bedford, and contains many curious remains of antiquity. In his account of Cupla p. 71, Mr. L. exprefsly attirins, that Wood-end was the refidence of the family of the Lakes; to the memory of whom various monuments are erected in the parith-church. Mr. L. obferves, f: 92, "that the manor of Hawnes is Jepped to have paid by purchafe from

the Newdigates to the Lukes of Cople,' who appear from the parish-regifter, to have refided at Hawnes occafionally, from 1626 to 1654." Some of that family may poflibly have refided at Hawnes, but the ancient eftate and refidence of the Lukes, according to univerfal tradition, was at Wood-end, which is ftill vifited as an ob ject of historical attention, and established celebrity.

P. 14. "The eftates of the Duke of Bedford now form (Mr. L. affirms) what may be confidered as by far the largett landed property in the County." This is not perfectly correct. The Duke of Bedford is certainly the principal landproprietor, but Lord St. John and Mr. Whitbread are not very far inferior to him. Their united poffethions in this fmall County, of which the rental is, however, in proportion to the extent very large, (not lefs it is fuppofed thau three hundred thousand pounds per annum) are estimated at more than forty thousand pounds yearly value; and are probably little inferior to thofe of any other ten proprietors. The Marquis of Bute, the Earl of Offory, Lord Hampden, Lady Lucas, Sir Philip Monoux, Sir George Oborne, and Mr. Pym, rank high in the fecond clafs.

P. 16. Flitwick Houfe is not in the occupation of the Right Honourable John Trevor, who refides at Bromham, the Bedfordfhire Scat of his brother Lord Viscount Hampden, but of Robert Trevor, efq. a different branch of the fame family.

P. 18. The village of Lidlington, where, occupying a farm of the Duke of Bedford's, lives the ruftic Poet Batchelor, author of "Village Scenes," &c. affords very pleafing profpects, as does the neighbourhood of Houghton Conqueft, Hawnes and Harlington; but for the most beautiful and picturefque fcenery in the County, is to be found on the north-west fide of it along the fertile and fecluded vale, through which the Oufe, fince the publication of Cowper's charming Talk, a claffical ftream, winds its placid meandering courfe, occafionally fpreading into broad and inagnificent expanfes of water. From Chellington, Odell, and Felmersham, the views are particularly rich and striking.

P. 23. There is no turnpike-road from Bedford to Eaton Socon, on the north fide of the Oufe. The old and new roads join, not at Barford bridge, but at the foot of Wroxton hill, beyond the village of Great Barford.

P. 47. Caldwell priory near Bedford,

was, till about the year 1790, the property of a family of the name not of Gardiner, but of Garnow. The last proprietor of that name, was a merchant redent in the City of London.

P. 51. "A confiderable trade," Mr. L. remarks, "is carried on in coals brought by the Oufe to Bedford from Lynn and Yarmouth." Bedford being the head of the navigation, a confiderable trade is not only carried on with Lynn for coals, but for corn, timber, iron, falt, and various other commodities. There is no communication, whatever between Bedford and the port of Yarmouth.

Ibid. The population of Bedford has not increased, as Mr. L. afferts from erroneous information, of late years. Perhaps no town in the kingdom has remained more stationary than Bedford, for feveral centuries paft. From Speed's Map, of which the date is 1608, it appears to have been at that period of almoft exactly the fame dimentions as at prefent. The number of houfes is fomewhat diminifhed of late years, in confequence of the fire mentioned by Mr. L. which happened on the 25th of May, 1802, by. which about feventy habitatious were burnt down, moft of them very mean and miferable cottages, wattled and thatched. The far greater proportion of them has fince been re-built in a manner that reflects credit upon the town. Many other tenements, old and ruinous, have alfo been taken down within thefe few years, and new habitations erected, to the great improvement, but by no means the general enlargement of the town.

perfons of unexceptionable conduct and imorals.

Mr. Lyfons' has noticed the recent erection of the County Goal, the County Infirmary, and the houfe of Industry; all of them buildings remarkably well adapted to their refpective purposes, and planned by the fame excellent architect, Mr. John Wing, of Bedford, a man equally efteemed for his talents and integrity. In confequence of the laudable exertions of the inhabitants, very great improvements in the courfe of the last ten or fifteen years have been made, chiefly under the fuperintendance of Mr. Wing, in this ancient, but by no means unpleafant or unfocial town; and many others of confiderable magnitude are in no diftant contemplation.

P. 53. There is no houfe now occupied by the fingle brethren in the fociety of the Moravians. It was fome years fince converted into a school. The number of thefe reclufe and inoffenfive fcctaries has of late confiderably declined, and that enthusiastic spirit by which they were once fo much diftinguilhed, has very much abated. It might have been mentioned that there has been at Bedford, for forty years paft, a Methodist Chapel of the Wesleyan perfuafion. Mr. Welley is re ported to have faid, that the Methodists would not flourish at Bedford, because they experienced no perfecution. Within thefe few years, however, their numbers have, as in almost all other places, greatly increafed, and a handfee chapel has been newly raised on the feite of the old one. A finall Jewish fynagogue alto has been established within the last three years, encouraged by the fpirit of toleration which remarkably prevails in this place. The Jews fettled at Bedford are

P. 82. Elfton is not a vicarage, but a perpetual curacy or donative, tenable with any preferment, and in the gift of Mr. Whitbread; by whom it was a thort time fince prefented, in a moft generous manner, to the worthy and refpectable clergyman who now enjoys it, without the lealt folicitation or expectation on his part.

P. 85. Jemima Marchionefs Grey, grand-daughter and heirefs of the laft Duke of Kent, was not the wife of the Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, as ftated by Mr. L. but of the late Earl of Hardwicke, fou of the Chancellor, and uncle of the prefent Nobleman of that name.

P. 86. The only fon of the Duke of Kent was not known by the title of Earl of Harold, but fimply Lord Harold: his father being Duke, Marquis, and Earl of Kent, and Baron of Harold. He died when just of age, (and said to have been a young man of great accomplishments) in the year 1723, by a very fingular accident; being choaked with an ear of barley, inadvertently taken into his mouth, and which working its way into the throat, it was found impoffible to extract.

P. 89. No manor in Goldington or elfewhere, could have been purchased by the grandfather of the prefent Duke of Bedford, of the Duke of Marlborough, or of any other perfon in the year 1774, as John Duke of Bedford died in the mouth of January, 1771. The fame miftake oc curs in the account of the parith of Ravenfden, p. 126.

I make no apology for troubling you with thefe obfervations, which, if not wholly undeferving of notice, you will have the goodness to infert in your excellent mifcellany. Your's, &c. WM. BELSHAM,


Jan. 12th, 1807.


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