Enquiries concerning Agriculture

Enquiries concerning Agriculture

PUBLISHED BY James Alestry


[Page 91]

The feed at first coming out is very white, but within a day it becomes greenish, then red, at last by little and little gray, which colour it retains alwaies, the most coloured of an obscure gray, being the best; those grains, which never quit their whiteness, having no secundity in them.

Each female emits ordinarily some 300 grains, more or less, some of them not being able to render them all, and dying with them in their belly. One ounce of seed will require an hundred pair of Cases, of as many Males as Females.

Care must be taken, that no Rats, Mics, Ants, or other Vermin, nor any Hens, or Birds, come neer the Seed, they being very greedy to eat them.

This is the substance of what is contained in this French Author, published at Paris on purpose to promote the Making of Silk there, as well as it is practised already in other parts of that Kingdom: which is represented here, to the end, that from this occasion the design, which the English Nation once did entertain of the increasing of Mulberry-trees, and the Breeding of Silk-worms, for making of Silk within themselves, may be renewed, and that encouragement, given by King James of Glorious memory for that purpose (witnes that Letter which he directed to the Lords Lietenants of the several shires of England) and seconded by his Most Excellent Majesty, that now is, be made use of, for the honour of England and Virginia, and the increase of wealth to the people thereof: especially since there is cause of hope, that a double Silk-harvest may be made in one Summer in Virginia, without hindring in the least the Tobacco-trade of the Countrey.

2. Enquiries concerning Agriculture

Whereas theRoyal Society, in prosecuting the Improvements of Natural knowledge, have it in design, to collect Histories of Nature and Arts, and for that purpose have already, accor-ding to the several Inclinations and Studies of their Members, divided themselves into divers Committees, to execute the said design : Those Gentlemen, which do constitute the Committee for considering of Agriculture, and the History and Improvement thereof, have begun their work with drawing up certain [Page 92] Heads of Enquiries, to be distributed to persons Experienced in Husbandry all over England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the procuring a faithful and solid information of the knowledge and practice, already obtained and used in these kingdoms; whereby, besides the aid which by this means will be given to the general End of collecting the aforementioned History, every place will be advantaged by the helps, that are found in any, and occasion ministred to consider, what improvements may be further made in this whole matter. Now to the End, that those Enquiries may be the more universally known, and those who are skilful in Husbandry, publickly invited to impart their knowledge herein, for the common benefit of their Countrey, it hath been thought fit to publish the effect of them in Print, and withall to desire that what such persons shall think good from their own Knowledg and Experience to communicate hereupon, they would be pleased to send it to the Printers of the Royal Soceity, to be delivered to either of the Secretaries of the same. The Enquiries follow.

3. I. For Arable.

  1. The several kinds of the soyls of England, being supposed to be, either Sandy, Dravelly, Stony, Clayie, Chalky, Lightmould, Healthy, Marish, Boggy, Fenny, or cold weeping Ground; information is desired, what kind of soyls your Country doth most abound with, and how each of them is prepared, when employed for Arable?
  2. What peculiar preparations are made use of to these soyls for each kind of graine; with what kind of Manure they are prepareds when, how & in what quantity the manure is laid on?
  3. At what seasons and how often they are ploughed; what kind of ploughs are used for several sorts of Ground?
  4. How long the several Grounds are let ly fallow?
  5. How, and for what productions, Healthy grounds may be improves? And who they are(if there be any in your Country) that have reduced Heaths into profitable Lands?
  6. What ground Marle hath over head? How deep generally it lieth from the surface? What is the depth of the Marle it self? What the colour of it? Upon what ground it is used? [Page 93] What time of the year it is to be laid on? How many loads to an Acre? What Grains Marled Land will bear, and how many years together? How such Marled Land is to be used afterwards &c?
  7. The kinds of Graine or seed, usual in England, being supposed to be either Wheat, Miscelane, Rye, Barley, Oats, Pease, Beans, Fitches, Buck wheat, Hemp, Flax, Rape; We desire to know, what sorts of Grains are sown in your Country, and how each of these is prepared for Sowing? Whether by steeping, and in what kind of Liquor? Or by mixing it, and with what?
  8. There being many sorts of Wheat, as the White or red Lammas, the bearded Kentish Wheat [...]the red-eared bearded Wheat &c.And so of oats, as the common Black, Blue, Naked, Bearded in North-Wales: and the like of Barley, Pease, Beans &c. The Enquiry is, which of these grow in your Country, and in what Soyl; and which of them thrive best there; and whether each of them require a peculiar Tilage; and how they differ in goodness?
  9. What are the chief particulars observable in the choice of seed corn, and all kinds of Graine; and what kinds of Grain are most proper to succeed one another?
  10. What Quantity of each kind is sown upon the Statute-Acre? And in what season of the Moon and year is sowed?
  11. With what itstrument they do Harrow, Clod and Rowl, and at what seasons?
  12. How much an Acre of good Corn, well ordered, generally useth to yield, in very good, in less good, and in the worst years?
  13. Some of the common Accidents and Diseases befalling Corn in the growth of it, being Meldew, Blasting, Smut; what are conceived to be the causes thereof, & what the Remedies?
  14. There being other Annoyances, the growing Corn is exposed to, as Weeds, Worms, Flies, Birds, Mice, Moles, & c. How they remedied?
  15. Upon what occassions they use to cut the young Corn in the Blade, or to seed it: and what are the benefits thereof?
  16. What are the seasons and waies of Reaping and Ordering each sort of Grain, before it be carried off the Ground?
  17. [Page 94]What are the several waies of preserving Grain in the Straw, within and without doors, from all kinds of Annoyance, as Mice, Heating, Rain, &c?
  18. What are the waies of separating the several sorts of Grain from the Straw, and of dressing them?
  19. What are the waies of preserving any stores of separated Grain, from the Annyances they are obnoxious to?

4. 2. For Meadows

  1. How the above mentioned sorts of Soyl are prepared, when they are used for Pasture or Meadow?
  2. The common Annoyances of these Pasture or Meadow Grounds being supposed to be, either Weeds, Moss, Sourgrass, Heath, Fern, Bushes, Bryars, Brambles, Broom, Rushes, Sedges, Gorfe or Furzes; what are the Remedies thereof?
  3. What are the best waies of Drayning Marshes, Boggs, Fenns, &c?
  4. What are the several kinds of Grass, and which are counted the best?
  5. What are the chief circumstances observable in the Cutting of Grass; and what in the making and preserving of Hay?
  6. What kind of Grass is fittest to be preserved for winter-feeding? And what Grass is best for sheep, for Cows, Oxen, Horses, Goats, &c


The Reader is hereby advertised, that by reason of the present Contagion in London, which may unhappily cause an interruption aswel of Correspondencies, as of Publick Meetings, the printing of these Philosophical Transactions may possibly for a while be intermitted; though endeavors shall be used to continue them, if it may be.

This is the full version of the original text


agriculture, birds, corn, grain, hens, manure, seeds

Source text

Title: Enquiries concerning Agriculture

Author: Daniel Coxe

Publisher: John Martyn, James Alestry

Publication date: 1665

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: Source:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society : 91-4. Published by : The Royal Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/101439 Accessed on 25-02-2015

Digital edition

Original author(s): Daniel Coxe

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) whole


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > nonfiction prose > science

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