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excited very general emulation among a class of persons, that had not previously evinced any particular symptoms of laudable ambition. It will be difficult to define the soils of the whole county; but it may be observed, in the words of Mr. Monk, that “it varies pretty much from a light sandy, or gravelly loam, to a stiff marly-loam, including all the intermediate degrees possible be-. tween these two extremes. Very little of the land can (with propriety) be called a mere sandy, or gravelly soil; nor is there any great quantity of it that may properly be called clay. The best soil is upon the hills; and the worst, or nearest approaching to clay or cold lands, iu the valleys; though there are many exceptions from this rule. The soil, or what the farmers generally call. mould, is generally deep, which makes it very proper for grass : such deep soils not being very soon affected by dry weather. About Lutterworth, some part is a light rich loam, excellent for turnips and barley; a part stiff, inclining to marle, or rich clay; the remainder chiefly a sort of medium between both, with a subsoil, inclining to marl, bearing excellent crops of oats and wheat, and good turnips also, though not so well adapted for their being eat off the land with sheep. Round Hinckley most of the land is a good mixed soil, and bears good crops of grass, &c. Ashby-dela-Zouch, and the northern part of the county: the soil here is various, sand, gravel, loam, and clay, but mostly clay. MeltonMowbray: the soil in this part of the county, is in general a heavy loam; and immediately underneath, a very stiff impervious clay, mixed with small pieces of lime-stone. These lands are very wet in winter, and the turf so tender, as scarcely to be able to bear the treading of sheep at that season, without injury. Market Harborough: the soil here, in general, is a very strong clay, chiefly in grass."
Among the different breeds of sheep in the county, the OldLeicester, the Forest, and the New-Leicester, or Disliley, constitute the principal sorts, and of them the latter class is in the most repute. It is a judicious maxim with the graziers to procure that breed, which, on a given quantity and quality of food, will pro
duce the most profit; and this has been proved in those of the New-Leicester. The extraordinary price for which many of these sheep have been sold at public auctions, and the large sums for which some of the rams and bulls have been let out for the season, serve at once to shew their estimation in public opinion, and the laudable zeal that prevails among certain classes of the nobility and yeomanry of the kingdom, for improving the breeds of cattle, &c. At an-auction of Ewes, belonging to Thomas Pagett, Esq. in the year 1793, the following sumns were given for different sheep :-Five ewes, at 62 guineas each ; five, at 52 guineas each; five, at 45 guineas each; ten, at 30 guineas, and several others at 29, 25, 22, 20, and 16 guineas each. One of these sheep, which was killed at Walgrave, in Northamptonshire, was of the following weight:--The carcase, 1441b., or 361b. per quarter; blood, 5lb.; head, 441b.; pluck, 441b.; guts, large and small, 141b.; paunch, 211b.; rough fat, 161|b., and the skin 181b.; making, in the whole, 1773lb. It is no uncommon thing in this county to salt down the mutton, and keep it in the usual way, and as a substitute for bacon. In the year 1793, Mr. Pagett sold several bulls, heifers, cows, and calves, by public auction, when some were knocked down at the following very extravagant prices. A bull, called “ Shakespear," described in the catalogue, as“ (bred by the late Mr. Fowler,) by Shakespear, off young Nell. Whoever buys this lot, the seller makes it a condition that he shall have the privilege of having two cows bulled by him yearly. FOUR HUNDRED GUINEAS !!" A bull-calf, 31 guineas; a three years old heifer, 70 guineas; others at 35 and 32 guineas each ; a two years old heifer, at 84, and another at 60 guineas. It is asserted by Mr. Monk, that Mr. Bakewell had let out a bull for 50 guineas, for the season; and that it occasioned the following curious case for the lawyers. The gentleman who hired the bull, died before the expiration of the season, and his executors, ignorant of the agreement, sold the animal, with other stock, at a public auction. The bull was bought by the butcher for about eight pounds, and killed; soon afterwards, Mr. Bakewell, not knowing of the transaction,
sent for it, when he was first informed of the circumstance; and as the executors refused either to pay the stipulated sum, or the value of the beast, the owner was necessitated to seek restitution in a suit at law. His demand was 200 guineas for the bull, and 50 more for the season. The executors plea for refusing this demand, was grounded on the publicity of the sale, and the small sum that it then obtained, although “ there were many farmers present, and some of those thought to be men of judgment.” On the trial, however, many witnesses gave their opinion, on oath, that Mr. Bakewell had not overvalued his property, and after'a full examination of the case, a verdict was given in favour of the plaintiff “ to the full amount, with costs of suit.”.
“ There are no manufactures in Leicestershire, except that of stockings, which bath, of late, been much encouraged, so that the shepherd and husbandman engross almost all to themselves; for, as the latter supplied other counties with corn and pulse, the former sends wool into many parts of England. The whole county produces wheat, barley, pease, and oats; but its most natural and plentiful crops are beans, especially that part of Sparken hoe hundred, which lies about the village thence called Barton-in-thebeaus, where they are so luxuriant, that towards barvest time they look like a forest*." Since the commencement of the last century, cheese has become an article of some importance to the Leicestershire farmers; and a large cheese-fair is annually held in the county-town, for the sale of this commodity. Among the different sorts manufactured in the county, that called STILTONCHEESE, is deemed the finest, and consequently obtains the highest prices. It acquired the title of Stilton, from a place of that name on the great north road in Huntingdonshire, where it is well known to have been first publicly sold by retail t. This cheese is
* MS, Chietwynd-Nichols's History, Vol. II, pt. 1. p. 5.
+ It is asserted by Mr. Marshall, in his Agricultural Work, on the “Midland Counties," that Mrs. Pauet, of Wymondham, near Melton-Mowbray,
sometimes called the Parmesan of England, and is usually formed in square vats. The cheeses seldom weigh more than twelve pounds each, and from that to six pounds is the general average weight. They are sometimes moulded in nets, but this mode is not deemed so eligible as that of the vat. A good deal of this cheese is made on the farms about Melton-Mowbray. Its process of making was for some time kept a secret; but is now very generally known. And as it may be manufactured equally well in other dairies, as in those of Leicestershire and Rutlandshire, the receipt will not be unacceptable to those who may wish to make an experiment, nor to such as are laudably curious about every branch of human knowledge.
“ To the morning's new milk, add the skimmed cream of the preceding evening's milking, with a proper quantity of rennet. When the curd is come, it is not to be broken in the usual way
of making other cheese, but it should be taken out carefully, and placed in a sieve to drain gradually. As the whey drains off the curd is to be gently pressed till it becomes firm and dry; then place it in a wooden hoop or vat, to be kept dry, and turned frequently. After taken from the vats, it is still kept in the cloth till quite dry and firm, and afterwards repeatedly brushed. If the dairy-maid should not succeed in the first attempt, she ought not to be disheartened, for in a second or third trial she may be equally successful with an experienced maker.” The process of making is very simple, but the cheese requires much care to be kept sweet and good, till fit for use. The precise time of keeping is not defined; as some farmers say they are quite ripe in twelve months, and others contend that they ought not to be used under
was the first person who manufactured this sort of cheese; but other dairywomien lay claim to priority. However, it is known, that Mrs. P. was a relation, or intimate acquaintance, of the well-known Cooper Thornhill, who formerly kept the Bell-Inn, at Stilton, and that she supplied that house with a peculiar and novel sort of cheese, which obtained much celebrity, and was frequently retailed by the landlord at half a crown per pound. From the place of sale, therefore, it certainly acquired its distinctive name.
eighteen months or two years. The price of this cheese, in London, now (1807), is from one shilling to eighteen-pence per pound, by retail.
Mr. Marshall, in the work already refered to describes Leicestershire as a very fertile district; and the only parts of it which are not absolutely in good cultivation, are Charnwood-Forest, a tract of land in the northern part of the county, called the Wolds, or Woulds, and another similar tract in the southern side of the shire. Tlie first consists of a rocky and bare surface, whilst the two others are distinguished by a cold dark-coloured clayey soil, and a sandy surface. The district called CHARNWOOD FOREST, though divested of forest scenery, and almost without a tree, is a very striking feature in this county. It comprehends between fifteen and sixteen thousand acres, “ three fourths of which," observes Mr. Monk," might be made very useful good land, and if enclosed, would make some excellent farms. If the hills were planted, and the other parts enclosed, it would be a wonderful ornament to the county. The chief proprietors, are the Earl of Stamford, Earl of Moira, William Herrick, Esq. of Beaumanor, and a few others, who, I was informed, (by one of the proprietors) wished much to have it enclosed.” The following description of this tract, by Mr. Marshall, is too characteristic to be oniitted.
“ The Charnwood Hills are too striking a feature of this district to be passed without especial notice. Like the Malvern Hills, their style is singular; but the style of one is very different from that of the other. The Malvern Hills, seen from a distance, bear a most striking resemblance to the Atlantic Islands; towering up high and ragged; and, on a near view, appear as one large mountain fragment. The Charnwood Hills, on the contrary, seen obscurely, appear as an extensive range of mountains, much larger, and of course much more distant, than they really are. When approached, the mountain style is still preserved; the prominencies are distinct, sharp, and most of them pointed with ragged rock. One of these prominencies, Bardon Hill, rises above the rest; and, though far from an elevated situation, comparatively