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Art. VI. 7 General View of the Agriculture of the East-Riding

of Yorksbire ; published by Order of the Board of Agriculture. By H. E. Strickland, of Righton, Esq. 8vo. PP. 332. I 2S.

Boards. Mawman. WE

E have so often noticed the county-reports drawn up for

the consideration of the Board of Agriculture, that it will only be necessary for us on the present occasion to remark, in reference to the plan of the undertaking before us, that it is made in the usual mould, and scrupulously follows those divisions which have been prescribed to all persons who have been similarly engaged. Mr. Strickland has evidently been assiduous in obtaining information; and had he been assisted by gentlemen and agriculturists to the extent which he might reasonably have expected, considering the public nature of his occupation, he would no doubt liave executed his task more to his own s2tisfaction, and more completely for the Board. We are concerned to state, however, that he regrets not only the scantiness of communications in general, but discloses this melancholy fact, that many who were individually applied to, from a fear probably of committing themselves, have shewn an unwillingness to afford specific information. In former times, neither respectable land-owners norland-occupiers had the fear of committing themselves' before their eyes; and one strong reason for the abolition of the property-tax is the sad inquisition to which it subjects us in temporals. Men are now afraid of telling the truth lest their pockets should suffer by the disclosure, and they look with suspicion on every one who approaches them with a string of questions. Some few gentlemen, however, unalarmed by the interrogatories of the reporter, communicated that knowlege of which he was in search, and for their kind assistance he offers his public thanks. The list indeed is small, and it is not much to the credit of the East-Riding of Yorkshire, which contains a population of more than 130,000 individuals *, that only éight persons are named as contributors to Mr. Strickland in this work. The report, therefore, is not so perfect as it might have been rendered, had all the information been given which was solicited: yet still the author has contrived to bring together a valuable mass of materials, under each of the specified heads of inquiry

The first department being assigned to the Geographical State and Circumstances of the district under examination, we are presented with the following particulars respecting the Situation, Extent, Divisions, Climate, Soil, Minerals, and Waters, of this part of Yorkshire :

* The exact number by the returns in 1811 is 130,366.

• The

• The East-Riding of the County of York is situated between 53° 37' and 54° 14' 30" north latitude, and between 7' east and 1° 8' west longitude of the meridian of Greenwich. York, the county town, is situated in lat. 53° 57' 45" N.- long. 4' 16" W. of Greenwich. In shape it is nearly that of an equilateral triangle, bounded on the base toward the south by the rivers Humber and Ouse, toward the north-east by the German Ocean, and toward the north-west, nearly through its whole extent, by the rivers Harford and Derwent. On the N. and N. W. it adjoins upon the North-Riding of Yorkshire ; on the west, running up to the walls of York, upon the Ainsty of the City; on the S. W. upon the West-Riding of Yorkshire ; and on the S. it is divided by the Humber from the County of Lincoln.

* The longest lines which can be drawn at right angles across the Riding, extend from south-west to north-east 42 miles, and from south-east to north-west 52 miles. It contains about 1280 square miles, or 819,200 acres, of which not more than about 4000 acres can be regarded as uncultivated, or in a state of waste.

• This Riding is divided into six Wapontakes, viz. Holderness, Dickering, Buckrose, Ouse and Derwent, Howdenshire, and Harthill. But for the more convenient administration of justice, it is subdivided into the Chief Constableries, of Dickering, Buckrose, Holme Beacon, Bainton Beacon, Wilton Beacon, Hunsley Beacon, Ouse and Derwent, Howdenshire, and the North, Middle, and South Bailiwicks of Holderness. Here also may properly be added, as eoming within the geographical, though not the civil division of the East-Riding, the jurisdiction of the County of the Town of Kingstonupon-Hull, extending over a few parishes in the neighbourhood of that place. It contains ten market-towns, viz. Bridlington, Driffield, Beverley, Pocklington, Market-Weighton, Howden, South Cave, Kingston-upon-Hull, Hedon, and Pattrington ; of which Beverley, Hedon, and Hull, send two members each to parliament. Hornsea, Hunmanby, Frodingham, and Kilham, have also the right to markets ; but none have been held in them during many years. The first held its market on Monday, Hunmanby on Tuesday, Frodingham on Thursday, and Kilham on Saturday.

« The natural divisions of this Riding are four, which will be found to distinguish with sufficient, though perhaps not with absolute accuracy, the chief peculiarities of its soil and surface, viz.

• The Wolds, or the chalk lands. • Holderness, or the clay lands. • Howdenshire, with Ouse and Derwent, being chiefly sand-land, with some warp-land, clay, and loam.

• The Vale of Derwent, round the north and west foot of the Wolds, consisting of various soils.

* A somewhat different statement is given at p. 72. :

The area of the East-Riding of the county of York, (according to the latest authorities,) appears to be 1268 square statute miles, equal to 811,520 statute acres.' N2

« The

The above divisions have been formed, as much as possible, with reference to the circumstances of the soil ; in which, as well as in the climate and produce, they will be found to vary considerably from each other.

• The climate of the Wolds, in consequence of their great elevation, their general uniformity of surface, and their almost total want of wood and shelter, is severe and variable , the winds, as they sweep over this plain and unbroken surface, being extremely violent and penetrating, and by promoting a rapid evaporation, greatly aggravate the cold of the climate, particularly the south-west wind in the autumn, and the north and north-east winds in the winter and spring. These last frequently continue with little intermission throughout the whole of March, April, and May, and occasionally still longer, re'tarding all vegetation at this critical period of the year, and a warfing the hedges and trees subject to their influence. But notwithstanding these apparently unfavourable circumstances, the Wolds are extremely healthy, as is sufficiently demonstrated by the inhabitants being in a great degree exempt from epidemic and local diseases, and by the vigorous longevity to which they frequently attain.

· The sea-fogs to which the northern and eastern parts of the Wolds are frequently exposed in the summer and autumn, and the great elevation-of the district in general, render the Wolds peculiarly unfavourable to the growth of wheat, the crops of which are usually small, and the grain thick-skinned and coarse.

• Holderness, being sheltered by the Wolds on the north and west, having a fertile soil, and the surface undulatiog in gentle swells, is admirably adapted to the produce of corn on its northern and western extremities, while the flat rich pastures adjoining to the Humber and the sea are equally calculated for grazing ; the climate is in general healthy, though in some of the lower parts of it, and in the lately, or yet imperfectly drained tracts on each bank of the river Hull, a stranger is still liable to the ague in the first winters which he

passes there. This clay-land district being little elevated above the sea, (no part of it being perhaps more than fifty feet above high water mark,) and being bounded by the sea, for the greater part of its circumference, is not liable to any long continuance of frost or snow; the climate

may therefore be pronounced as mild as the latitude will allow of, though exposed necessarily to the severity of the easterly winds in the spring.

Howdenshire with Ouse and Derwent, in which district is comprehended all the country lying to the south of the Weighton and York road, and west of the Weighton and South-Cave road, being situated far inland, and completely sheltered by the Wolds from the north-east; enjoys an earlier vegetation in proportion to the quality of the soil, and a more temperate climate than the clay-lands, although the frost and snow continue much longer in the winter at this distance from the sea, than in its more immediate vicinity.

- The Vale of Derwent, from its variety of soil and exposure, is proportionally various in its climate. The western part is in all respects healthy, temperate, fruitful, and agreeable ; but the northern is exposed alike to the pining winds of the east, and the boisterous

gales

gales of the west; is liable to the sea-fogs in summer and autumn, and till of late years (during which an effectual drainage has taken place) was subject to anwholesome exhalations from the bogs on each side of the Derwent at all seasons of the year.

• From a register, which has been kept with great attention by R. C. Broadley, Esq., at Ferriby, near Hull, for the purpose of ascertaining the quantity of rain, it appears that the annual average at that place for eleven years, ending with the year 1809, is 27.32 inches, which somewhat exceeds the average of the kingdom; but from the vicinity of this place to the Humber, it may probably re: ceive a greater proportion of rain than the more northern parts of the Riding; as the thunder-storms and heavy clouds may be attracted by that great river, and drawn down its course toward the sea.'

Farther to ascertain with accuracy the nature of the climate, two tables are given, containing the results of observations made with the thermometer and barometer at York and at Righton in 1805; the former place being nearly on a level with the flood-tide, and the latter being about 400 feet above it. These tables, on which some judicious remarks are offered, display the effect of the sea in equalizing the temperature of the, atmosphere : which, as well as its humidity or dryness, will depend on the direction of the wind. To afford necessary information on this head, it is added that

• From observations also, very accurately taken, of the prevailing winds at York, it appears that they blew from the westerly points, in the year 1805, 230 days, and from the easterly points 135 i at Righton from the westerly points 198 days, and from the easterly 167 days; and though these latter observations were not taken as accurately as the former, in consequence of some days being oniitted, for which certain allowances were obliged to be made, still there is reason to believe that any error cannot be great, and that they may be taken as a fair approximation, and therefore sufficient to prove the prevalence of the easterly winds on the coast; of winds that probably do not penetrate far inland, and are the principal cause of the milder state of the atmosphere there, in the colder months and times. of the year, and the greater coolness of the hotter months and times as before stated; the easterly winds appearing to have prevailed in, 1805, thirty-two days on the coast more than at York, and the westerly winds consequently as many days less.'

In the section on Soil and Surface, we are presented with this general remark, that, though å farge portion of England is chalk, it terminates in this Riding, and beyond it northward no, chalk is found in the island,

• The chalk (says Mr. S.) is not more than half a mile in breadth where it crosses the river Humber, but expanding as it proceeds northward, it occupies from Flamborough Head, westward, an ex. tent of about 27 miles, and from north to south upward of 30

miles. This district has great uniformity in its general character. The

northern

N 3

northern and western fronts are towering and precipitous, from which it gradually and insensibly sinks into the low country of Holderness; the surface of the country everywhere, and the strata generally, of which it is formed, dipping to the S. E. It may in general be said to have a moderately waving surface, intersected with numerous deep, narrow, winding valleys.'

• The soil of the Wolds is, with little variation, a light, friable, calcareous loam, from three to ten inches in depth, and on the hills covering a chalk rubble of a foot or a foot and a half thick, below which the chalk rock lies to an unknown depth.

The soil of Holderness varies from a fertile clayey loam to a stiff

, cold, retentive clay, with very little other variety throughout its whole extent, except a narrow tract of gravelly loam extending two or three miles to the north and south of Rise, which is excellent turnip land. . On the banks of the Humber, from Paul nearly to Spurn Point, there are thirteen or fourteen thousand acres of warpland, of a strong clayey loam, the productiveness and fertility of which can hardly be equalled. The sediment forming this warpland, being brought from the higher country by the numerous rivers and streams which

open into this common estuary, is composed of a variety of substances.' C. The Vale of Derwent, extending along the course of that river and a small branch of it called the Harford, from Filey to Kexbybridge, has greater varieties in its soil than any other part of the East-Riding. From Muston, along the course of the Harford till it gains the Derwent, and thence to Yedingham-bridge, is a black peat, heretofore unproductive, and covered with water during a great part of the year, which a drainage lately executed has very considerably improved: between the peat and the foot of the Wolds is å sand, so light and fine, that in a strong wind it blows and drifts like snow. Where the sand ends, a fertile loam, equally productive of turnips and wheat, commences and extends to Norton.'

On the subject of Minerals, this Riding makes a very bad figure ; since it contains no metallic vein of any kind, nor any coal, sand-stone, flag-stone, or lime-stone fit for building, nor slate, though it may

boast of some pure marl and gypsum. Several rivers flow through the East-Riding, as the Derwent, the Ouse, the Humber, and the Hull; which, with other streams and navigable waters, so bound and intersect it that no part of it is distant ten miles (as measured on the map, or as the crow flies,) from water-carriage.

Property is stated to be less divided here than in other parts of the kingdom. One estate is reckoned at 15,000l. per annum, and eight or ten others at about 10,000l. Of their management, little that is satisfactory is said. The tenure by which the lands in this district are generally held is free-hold; copy-holds are rare; and only in one manor (Skidby) does the singular tenure of Borough-English exist. À note signed W. S. (desiga nating, we suppose, the author's brother Sir William Strick.

land,

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