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A New System of Agriculture. Being a complete body of husbandry and gardening in all the parts of them. Viz. Husbandry in the field, and its several improvements. Of forest and timber trees, great and small; with ever-greens and flow'ring shrubs, &c. Of the fruit-garden. Of the kitchen-garden. Of the flower-garden. In five books. Containing all the best and latest, as well as many new improvements, useful to the husbandman, grazier, planter, gardener and florist. Wherein are interspersed many curious observations on vegetation; on the diseases of trees, and the general annoyances to vegetables, and their probable cures. As also a particular account of the famous silphium of the antients. Folio.
Printed for Tho. Woodward. 1726 [24], 315, single page numbered 316-320, 321-456pp, frontispiece & 2 engraved plates. V. sl. foxing, neat repair to top outer corner of titlepage, v. minor worming to inner front board, e.p. & blank upper margin of frontispiece. Full contemporary panelled calf, expert repairs to joints, corners and head & tail of spine. Contemporary ownership name of Sam Browne at head of titlepage. A v.g. fresh clean copy. ESTC T146573. First edition. "In A New System of Agriculture (1726) a note is struck which sounded more loudly as towns grew, as, with their growth, the demand increased for meat, milk, and butter, as agriculture improved, as communication was facilitated. The author, the Rev. John Laurence, Rector of Bishops Wearmouth, treats open-field farms as obstacles to agricultural progress. He insists on enclosures and separate occupation as the best means of increasing produce and of raising rents. He dwells on the rapid progress which enclosures were then making, points out the great rise in rental value consequent on increased produce, and argues that so far from injuring the poor, enclosures will rather create a new demand for labour by the introduction of improved tillage and pasture-farming, will give employment in fencing and ditching, and remove the attractions of wastes and open spaces, which 'draw to them the poor and necessitous only for the advantage of pilfering and stealing'. In The Duty of a Steward to his Lord (1727) Edward Laurence (his brother), himself a land-surveyor, and apparently agent to the Duke of Buckingham, argues the case from the point of view of better and more economical management. Laurence urges stewards to prevent piecemeal enclosures by individuals, to substitute leaseholds for copyholds, to buy up any freeholds on the estate which lie in intermixed strips, as necessary preliminaries to any successful and general scheme for the enclosure of open-fields and commons. The opposing case is vigorously put by John Cowper in his Essay proving that Inclosing Commons and Common-Field-Lands is Contrary to the Interest of the Nation (1732). He answers the arguments of the two Laurences, arguing that enclosures necessarily injure the small freeholder and the poor, and pleading that, so far from encouraging labour, they depopulate the villages in which they have been carried out." Ref: Ernle. English Farming Past and Present.
      [Bookseller: Jarndyce Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2012-12-27           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    


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