A General View of the Agriculture of the Counties of Kinross and Clackmannan

This book, written between 1811 and 1813, and published in 1814, follows on in many ways from the first statistical accounts of Clackmannanshire, dating back to around 1795. This excerpt of the book deals with the Clackmannanshire area only. Scanned PDF versions of the original book are available for free on the internet. The print quality of the original book is variable, and many pages required to be re-typed by hand. Several tables are still to be completed and will be updated in due course. The book makes reference to the previous Agricultural report of 1795, written by J.F. Erskine, Earl of Mar, which is often quoted here.

A General View of the Agriculture of the Counties of Kinross and Clackmannan
Drawn up for the consideration of the Board of Agriculture

By Patrick Graham D.D. Minister of Aberfoyle. 
Published in Edinburgh, 1814.



SECTION I. - Situation and Extent.

Clackmannanshire, though bounded on one side by a navigable river, may, in respect to its general situation with regard to the adjacent territory, be considered as an inland county. It is situated between 56 degrees 5 minutes, and 56 degrees 14 minutes North latitude; and 8 degrees 33 minutes, and 8 degrees 56 minutes West longitude from Greenwich: it lies between 33 minutes and 56 minutes West of the meridian of Edinburgh.

This county is bounded, through the extent of nearly six miles, on the south and south-west, by the river Forth, which separates it from Stirlingshire: on the south-east it is bounded by Fife-shire; and, in every other quarter, by Perthshire.

In the construction of the map, (which, as well as those that accompany the Kinross-shire and Stirlingshire Reports, has been executed by the Reverend Mr McGregor Stirling, minister of Port), Stobie's excellent map of the counties of Perth and Clackmannan has been chiefly followed. Some inaccuracies, however, which occur in the delineation of the western part of the county, have been corrected from local knowledge, and from the accurate map of this district which accompanies the original Report, so ably drawn up by John Francis Erskine of Mar, Esq.

In point of extent, (though not, as will afterwards appear, in point of value), this is one of the smallest counties in Scotland. Its length, from east to west, exclusive of the small portion which is situated in the parish of Logie, and which does not much exceed one square mile, is about eight miles. Its utmost breadth, from north to south, is about nine miles: but when we take into account the inequalities of breadth which are exhibited in the map, arising from the encroachments of Kinross-shire and Fife-shire on the east, with those of Stirlingshire and Perthshire on the north, it will probably be granted that the medium breadth of the county may be fairly estimated at six miles and a half. Thus, the whole superficial extent of Clackmannanshire may be taken at fifty-two square miles, being 33,280 English acres, or 26,473 Scots acres nearly.*

*It may be proper to remark, that Mr Erskine Of Mar's excellent work, entitled, "A general view of the Agriculture of Clackmannanshire," drawn up in 1795, comprises a large district of country, including, besides this county, the parish of Alva in Stirlingshire, together with the parishes of Culross, Tulliallan, Muckhart, and Glendovan in Perthshire. The account of these parishes, however, being already given, in the surveys of the county to which they respectively belong is not repeated on this occasion. This Report, with the map which accompanies it, is limited to Clackmannanshire exclusively.

This county, notwithstanding the smallness of its extent, has been long and deservedly considered as holding a high rank in the history of Scottish agriculture, mineralogy, and commerce. We find here the richest soil, including carse, loam, and mountain pasture, that occurs in Scotland; and the state of cultivation in which this soil is generally held is commensurate with its quality: Under the surface we meet with inexhaustible strata of coal and iron stone, which are wrought upon an extensive scale. In Clackmannanshire some of the finest mechanical inventions, connected with agriculture, were first discovered; and here a thriving sea-port town, with a yearly increasing commerce, gives a national interest to this district which is seldom to be exceeded.

SECTION. II. - Divisions.

l. Political.
The public functionaries of the county are a Lord Lieutenant, (the Earl of Mansfield); a sheriff-depute, (who is at the same time sheriff-depute of Kinross-shire), and a sheriff-substitute.

"Previous to the Fox or Grenville administration, the counties of Stirling and Clackmannan were united under the jurisdiction of one sheriff-depute, with two substitutes, the one residing at Stirling, and the other at Alloa; but, during that administration, a sheriff-depute was appointed to Stirlingshire alone, and another to the counties of Clackmannan and Kinross."

Clackmannanshire returns a member to the Commons House of Parliament alternately with the small adjacent county of Kinross.

2. Ecclesiastical.
This county consists of only four parishes, viz. Clackmannan, Alloa, Dollar, and Tillycoultry, together with about one-third of the parish of Logie.

With regard to ecclesiastical arrangement, which, in Scotland, is frequently anomalous, it may be observed that the parishes of Clackmannan, Alloa, and Dollar, are connected with the presbytery Stirling, and with the synod of Perth and Stirling; and that the parish of Tillycoultry, together with that district of the parish of Logie which belongs to this county, are attached to the same synod, but to the presbytery of Dunblane.

Of the towns and villages of this county notice will be taken in giving an account of the population. Clackmannan is the county town where the member of Parliament is in course elected. It is beautifully situated upon an eminence, which rises gently from the plain to the height of 190 feet above the level of the Forth. On each side of the town the ground has a gradual descent, but towards the west it is bold and rocky. The town of Clackmannan is not remarkable for its elegance. The principal street is broad and spacious, but the houses are mostly mean and old fashioned.

Alloa, by far the most important town and harbour in this county or district, is reckoned to contain 3000 inhabitants. Of its population and trade notice will be afterwards taken. The Reporter cannot refrain stating, that he had an opportunity of seeing the town and port of Alloa in August 1788. It then appeared to him to be a poor, ill built village, with a few paltry vessels in its harbour. Within this month, (November 1812), besides a visit of the former year, he had the honour and happiness of traversing this town with Mr Erskine of Mar. It now presents the gratifying spectacle of spacious streets, elegant buildings, well dressed and seemingly opulent inhabitants, and an abundant trade. All this is, according to Mr Erskine's liberal communication, owing to an act of Parliament obtained, through his patriotic exertions, about twenty years ago, in favour of the town and port of Alloa.

The villages of Dollar, Tillicoultry, Tillybody and Menstrie, within the bounds of this county, contain a considerable population, with some valuable manufactures.

SECTION. III. — Climate.

THE climate of this county may be considered as similar in almost every respect to that of the eastern portion of the immediately adjacent county of Stirling. In the Agricultural Report of Stirlingshire, an ample detail of the principal circumstances which distinguish its climate has been given, and to these the reader is now referred.

This county, however, enjoys an advantage which the eastern district of Stirlingshire does not possess, in the lofty screen afforded by the Ochills against the piercing winds of the north and north-east. Bencloch in Tillicoultry, the highest of this range of mountains, is estimated at 2420 feet above the level of the sea. Dumyatt in Logie is reckoned 1345 feet. On these hills the snow frequently falls in great abundance, and sometimes lies in the deep ravines and shaded places till towards the end of May. In the vale of Dovan the snow seldom lies long.

In that elevated ridge of territory which commences at Tillybody, and runs eastward throughout the whole extent of the county, the sub-soil being generally retentive of water, the climate is considerably colder and wetter than in the low grounds on either side.

The prevailing winds are, as is the case over all Scotland, and especially along the whole of the isthmus formed by the near approach of the Firths of Forth and Clyde, from the south-west. In this quarter Clackmannanshire has no mountain screen. In this direction the rains and storms are most frequent and lasting. It is even remarked, that in the western district of this county, about Logie, "the heights of Stirling Castle and the Abbot's-craig are found to attract the clouds, which often moisten the adjacent low grounds before they divide, one portion of them keeping the course of the Ochills, and the other clinging to the hills south and west of Stirling*."

* Original Report, 1795.

The reflection of the lofty rocks, which rise almost perpendicularly in the range of the Ochills, adds to the effect of the shelter which they furnish, in increasing the warmth of the Dovan vale.

Upon the whole, the climate of this county may be considered as rather moist. This circumstance, together with the retentive sub-soil which so generally prevails, sometimes retards the operations of the spring; and when this happens, the harvest is proportionably late. The wheat harvest, however, it is remarked, is as early here as in the Lothians, which is no doubt to be attributed to the earliness of the period of sowing that grain. Wheat is sown from the 15th September to the end of October, and sometimes later, though it seldom turns out well after the middle of November. Beans are sown in February, or as soon after as the weather will permit; oats are sown immediately after; and barley from the 20th of April to the 20th of May.

No meteorological tables relating immediately to this district have been found.


Of all the subjects which usually enter into the Agricultural Report of any district, the account of the soils of which it consists, and the manner in which they are occupied, is surely the most important.

When we take a view of the superficial contents of the county of Clackmannan, it will appear that, in respect of soil, it naturally divides itself into four portions, viz. 

1st, The clay or deep carse soil, which stretches along the banks of the river Forth, through the parishes of Logie, Alloa, and Clackmannan. 

2d, The elevated ridge which extends through the middle of the county eastward
from Tillybody, consisting of a thin vegetable mould, incumbent for the most part upon an impervious till.

3d, The vale of Dovan, consisting chiefly of a fertile loam; and, 

4th, The mountain pastures of the Ochills.

l. The clay, or deep carse soil.
This remarkable soil, which occurs only upon the eastern coast of Scotland, and chiefly upon the estuaries of the Forth and Tay, is of all others the most valuable, and the most important in an agricultural point of view. It has been observed, (in the Stirlingshire Report)

"That if all the carse lands which skirt the Forth on both sides, (in the counties of Perth, Clackmannan, Linlithgow, and Stirling), be taken into the account, it may be computed at the average length of 34 miles by 6 in breadth, amounting to 204 square miles* or 103,800 Scots acres nearly." Of these, it is reckoned that there are 1,533 acres in Clackmannanshire. The quality of the soil is precisely the same with that of the Stirlingshire carses, which has been described so minutely in the Report of that county. If there is any difference, it is reckoned to be in favour of the quality of the former. This soil is unquestionably alluvial; but the scale on which it exists on the banks of the Forth is by far too considerable to permit the supposition that it has been formed merely by the alluvion of the river. Where is the river running to the westward in any country which has formed a single acre of carse ground? The Clyde throws an equal quantity of water into the sea as the Forth. But neither its banks or emboucheure present any appearance of carse. All the phenomena of the Clackmannanshire carses seem to confirm the idea which has been thrown out, that these soils owe their origin to oceanic alluvion.

These carses are extremely rich and fertile. The sub-soil of a part of them is a strong clay fit for making bricks or tiles. The banks that immediately arise from the carse are mostly composed of gravel with a fine loam near the surface.

2. The elevated territory extending through the county from west to east.
This division includes by far the most extensive portion of Clackmannanshire. It commences on the west near Tillybody, in the of an angle, and spreads itself gradually till it reaches the eastern extremity of the county. It may be considered as somewhat resembling a lady's fan not fully extended; the point or centre on which the radii move being at Tillybody, and the radii themselves stretching along the skirts of the carse upon the right, and along the southern bank of the vale of Dovan upon the left. The accompanying map illustrates this idea.

This extensive tract of land, as Mr Erskine well remarked, can scarcely be denominated Dryfield, notwithstanding its elevation. It includes much diversity of soil. On every farm of extent may be found all the varieties of loam, loam intermixed with clay, and clay without admixture; the driest and lightest portion of this soil is that which borders upon the carses with a southern exposure.

The general characteristic, however, of the soil throughout this tract is, that it lies upon a cold tilly bottom, or an impervious clay. The soil obviously degenerates in this respect as we approach the northern and eastern parts of the county; though some patches of tolerably good soil sometimes occur towards that quarter, it is for the most part poor. The situation of the lands is high and bleak; and there is a good deal of muir ground, with a black mossy surface, and sometimes covered with a stunted heath.

In order to be able to form a more accurate idea of the soil of this elevated district, the Reporter, on Mr Erskine's suggestion, stepped into an arable field on the road side that leads to his farm of King of Muirs, where there are several sinks, as they are called, to be seen. These sinks are small pits of eight or nine feet in diameter, and six or seven feet deep; they are to be met with frequently in this county. They are occasioned by the subsidence of the upper stratum, in fields perforated in every direction by coal-pits, which have been wrought for many years back, to a great depth under the surface. That the sinking of the upper stratum does not extend to a greater depth than has been stated, is probably owing to the obliquity of the internal perforations. Were a sink to take place in the line of a perpendicular pit, it would certainly be commensurate in its depth with the pit into which the upper stratum had subsided.

In describing the soil of this district, these sinks furnish an interesting, view of the interior strata. Upon a sub-soil of till as compact, and from its tenacity more intractable than solid rock, the Reporter observed a thin stratum of vegetable mould of a depth of from six to nine inches. The field had borne a crop the last season; from the strength of the stubble it appeared that the crop had been a good one; a circumstance which, in such a soil, can be ascribed only to good cultivation, and a copious application of manure.

The, great and leading evil of a thin soil such as this, incumbent on an impervious bottom, whether of till or clay, obviously is the retention and accumulation of water between the sub-soil and the vegetable mould in which the plants are to spread their roots and to receive their nourishment. In such a situation none of the useful plants can thrive; the rush tribe and noxious aquatics will predominate.

Such was formerly the situation of the rich carses of Stirlingshire, and probably of Clackmannanshire also. The surface ploughed only to the depth of two or three inches; the sub-soil, by the tread of cattle, and by having never been stirred, had become as hard and compact as till; the moisture lodged upon its surface and rendered the vegetable mould infertile. Dr. Moir of Leckie first taught his neighbours to plough carse soil deep, The waters lodged in the soil found room to diffuse themselves and to run off; the crops have become abundant, and the salubrity of the district is increased.*

* This important circumstance is detailed in the Stirlingshire Report, p. 246; and cited by the Right Honourable President of the Board of Agriculture, in his late most valuable "Account of the Systems of Husbandry adopted in the more improved Districts of Scotland" - See p.205.

Under the article of "Ploughing," in Section 1. of Chapter VII of this Report, a most important improvement of a thin soil, incumbent on a tilly sub-soil, practised by Mr Erskine of Mar, will be mentioned.

The extent of this elevated district may be estimated at 12,216 acres nearly.

3. The vale of Dovan, consisting chiefly of a fertile Loam.
- Immediately on the north of the elevated territory which has been described, and where it sinks into the vale-through which the river Dovan* has its course, a narrow tract of land occurs; the characteristic of whose soil is loam; it skirts the river on both sides from the eastern extremity of the parish of Dollar to the west of the village of Menstrie, nearly equal portions of it being situated on each side of the river. 

* Du-avon, or the Black River, in Celtic.

Its greatest length is about seven miles and a half; its medium breadth may be taken at about half a mile. It is bounded on the north by the first ascent of the Ochill hills.

It remarked that the vale of Dovan is intersected from north to south, where the house of Tillicoultry now stands, by a dike or ridge of gravel, which rises considerably above the Plain on each side. It has probably been occasioned by the depositions of the mountain stream, which may have formerly had its course in this direction, or by a casual avalanche from the lofty eminences on the north.

In regard to the vale of Dovan; though its surface is to appearance uniform, it includes, like most other districts of Scotland, when minutely examined, a great variety of soils much interspersed with one another. In the same fields, moss, gravel, clay and loam, are often to be met with. In the parish of Dollar the soil is for the most part light. Sometimes we meet with a thin loam upon an arenaceous bottom, as upon the east of the village; but what is singular, as we leave the plain, and ascend towards the hills, the soil becomes deeper.

The haughs (as they are called) along the banks of the Dovan are of a light soil. About the Nether Mains of Dollar pits of clay marle have been found, which has been from time to time applied as manure. In some instances it has been applied in such quantities to approximate the soil, which has received it to clay, in such a degree that, though it had been originally thin and inclining to gravel, it has by this application become rich and very productive.

To the westward of the Tillycoultry dike, or mound of gravel, this vale is distinguished by a similar soil, that is, an arenaceous, intermixed with patches and moss. Immediately to the west the church of Tillycoultry, just on the banks of the Dovan, there is a small piece of ground which is wet and clayey. This patch excepted, the lands extending from the Tillycoultry dike to the boundary of the parish of Alva, (by which this county is interrupted for about two miles), appear to be pretty unform in quality, being in general dry and light.

The inspection of the map of this county will show a small district situated in the Parish of Logie, but separated from the rest of this parish by a large division, which runs into the Links (as they are called) of the Forth. This small district, not exceeding 700 acres, exhibits a very curious diversity of soil. The southern and eastern portions of it consist of rich carse; the north-western is mountain and rock, with pasture ground; on the north is a small patch of arenaceous soil.

The extent of this division of the county may be estimated at 3054 acres.

But to this there may be a narrow slip of sandy soil, which runs along the base of the Ochills, and not exceeding 1781 acres extent. This is considered a fertile soil, though the labouring of it is attended with some difficulty. It is particularly adapted to the culture of turnips and potatoes. It is remarked that, along the whole vale of Dovan, where ever a rivulet descends through this sandy soil, it is skirted by a gravelly soil on each side, the evident effect of the alluvion of the stream.

4. The mountain pastures of the Ochils.
The range of the Ochill* hills, or more properly mountains, the most considerable portion of which is situated within the limits of this county, forms striking object in the topography of Scotland.

* The term is perhaps of celtic origin. At period where the greatest part of Scotland was covered with wood, the stunted timber produced on the bare and rugged sides of these mountains, might perhaps, when contrasted with the luxuriant woods of the plain, procure to them the denomination of Og-choill, (Ochill), or the young wood. Others imagine that the hills got their appellation from their being covered with oaks, and hence were called Oak-hills.

This range is evidently a continuation of the Lennox hills, commencing at Dunbarton, and proceeding, as all our mountainous tracts, and even our great vallies do, in a direction from south-west to north-east across the island. This line of mountain may be traced, with the interruption of a few vallies, through Stirlingshire; it continues its course through Clackmannanshire, a part of Kinross-shire, and a part of Perthshire; its re-commencement may be traced in the Sid-law hills of Fife-shire.

This range of mountain, the denominated the Ochills, seems to have been cleared of heath at an early period, if indeed it was ever, like the mountains of  western Perthshire, covered with heath. Very little moss soil, or peat earth, occurs; the most considerable quantity of this kind of soil that is to be met with in the Ochills is probably that on the summit of the mountain of Alva in Stirlingshire, which is stated in the Report of that county, on the authority of Mr Johnstone of Alva, to amount to about 1000 acres.

The southern front of the Ochills is remarkably picturesque; and, if their bold projecting rocks, their deeply indented ravines, their pellucid murmuring streams, with additions of coppice and plantations on one side, together with the beauties of the vale winding river on the other, be taken into the account, there are perhaps few rides of equal extent that offer more interesting objects to a traveller of taste than that which stretches by the base of the Ochills from Logie to the confines of Kinross-shire. The villages of Menstrie, Alva, Tillicoultry and Dollar, sprinkled as it were upon the lower skirts of the mountain, give animation to the picture.

In passing through this last village, the ruins of Castle Campbell, one of the most ancient seats of the noble family of Argyle, bursting suddenly upon the eye in solemn magnificence, cannot fail to impress every mind of sensibility with some regretful emotions regard to the passing nature of earthly grandeur.

It may perhaps contribute to give some relief to a Report which does not otherwise present very numerous or splendid objects of attention to the general reader, to dwell a little upon the interesting scenery and antiquities of Castle Campbell.

It is upon an almost insulated eminence, which projects towards the south, from a deep ravine in the mountain, immediately above the village of Dollar. This eminence is surrounded on every side, except upon the north, where it joins the mountain, by deep precipices and glens, beautifully skirted by hanging woods of oak and birch. On the north, there are several large sycamores of great age and growth. Some of them are now fast verging to decay. This promontory, as it may be called, is washed on both sides by mountain streams, Which fall in various cascades, and, uniting below the Castle, form the burn of Dollar.

The narrow neck of land, by which this promontory joins the mountain on the north, was formerly cut by a ditch, or fosse, covered by a drawbridge; which, before the modern improvements in besieging places of strength were introduced, must have rendered this Castle almost impregnable. The only access by the south is by a path, of only a few feet wide, cut out, as is said, in the rock by one Kemp, and hence, called Kemp's Score; it declines from the perpendicular apparently at an angle of only 10 or 12 degrees. Children sometimes scramble up and down by this path with much danger.

When we look up towards the north, it appears probable that the insulated promontory on which the castle stands is nothing else than an avalanche, or portion of the mountain, which, in consequence of some convulsion of nature, had at a remote period slipped down from its site, and assumed the position which it now holds. One may even persuade himself that he can trace the very spot from which it issued, and that he can recognise in its actual dimensions the form of which it has left, behind it.

No tradition is known to exist with respect to the founder of this castle, or the period when it was built. It belonged, together with the adjacent barony, to the family of Argyle, as far back as A.D. 1465. It rendered respectable to the eye of every Scotsman by having been the early residence of one of our most ancient and noble families; and it may be added here, that it rendered venerable in the eye of every Scots presbyterian, by its having certainly been the scene of some of the early labours of our active, and justly celebrated reformer JOHN KNOX.*

* "He, (i.e. John Knox) by procurement and labours of Robert Campbell of Kingiancleuch, remained in Scotland, and passed to the Earl of Argyle, who was then in the Castle of Campbell, where he taught certain days." Knox's History of the Reformation of Scotland, book l. p. 119.

The writer of these pages had the spot pointed out to him, a small niche of ground on the southern extremity of the eminence, surrounded by tremendous precipices, and accessible only from the castle, or by the path of Kemp's Score, where Knox is said to have administered the sacrament of the Lord's Supper upon this occasion to the family of Argyle, of which the laird of Glenurquhay, ancestor of the Breadalbane family, was then an inmate. He must possess a cold heart, and a head, who can tread this little niche of ground without experiencing some of those emotions which Dr Samuel Johnson felt, and has so eloquently expressed, when he stood amongst the venerable ruins of Iona.

Castle Campbell was the occasional residence of the family of Argyle during a long period. About the year 1644, it was burnt by that celebrated partisan of the royal cause, James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, who, at the same time, destroyed the adjacent barony of the Campbells, whose chief had attached himself to the opposite party.

It is a matter of regret that this once magnificent edifice, now the property of Mr Tait, should be permitted to fall into ruin. The walls are still nearly entire; there are some apartments which are still habitable and which, by the proprietor's laudable attention, are fitted up for the residence of his. ground officer. The Reporter remarked that, at the north-east angle of the building, a stone which lay immediately above foundation stone had slipped from its place, or crumbled down by age. A gap has been in consequence formed, and a rot has taken place in the north wall about the middle from top to bottom. Unless some remedy is applied, it is probable that the whole portion of the wall which lies to the eastward of the rent will soon tumble down. This might, perhaps, be prevented by wedging a stone of proper size into the gap above the foundation stone.

The soil on the southern side of the Ochills is thin, the bare rock is often exposed to view; the herbage, however, is very fine, and furnishes excellent sheep pasture. On the northern side of the mountain the soil is considerably deeper, and the grass more luxuriant, but of a coarser kind.*

* This fact regarding the soil of the Ochills is entirely consonant to the theory advanced in the Stirlingshire Report.

This mountainous soil, including the narrow strip of arenaceous soil which skirts the base of the Ochills, may be estimated at 7889 Scots acres.

None of the soil of this county can, with propriety, be denominated waste, the whole being occupied by the plough, by plantations, or in the pasture of cattle and sheep.

Thus, the statement of the soil of this county will stand as follows, viz.

Carse 1583 Acres
Middle district, on till 12218 Acres
Vale of Dovan, loam 8054 Acres
Arenaceous slip 1781 Acres
Mountain pasture 7869 Acres
Total 26,453 Acres

SECTION V. - Minerals

THE mineralogy of Clackmannanshire may be considered as forming a most important topic in the history of this country. The Reporter has to regret that he is not yet furnished with a very interesting communication on this subject, which he expects from the intelligent Mr. Bald of Alloa. He hopes to be able to subjoin it in the appendix.*

*[Readers should look over 'A general view of the coal trade of Scotland' by Mr Bald for this information. which is available to view HERE.

In the mean time, be begs leave to offer such notices concerning the minerals of Clackmannanshire as have occurred to him in the course of his enquiries.

The Ochills, which occupy such a considerable space in this county, have been long celebrated for their abundance in regard to some of the more precious metals. In the Stirlingshire Report, an account has been given of some of the most important attempts which have been made at times to obtain those valuable productions of nature. In Alva, especially, silver ore has been found in considerable quantity: copper, lead, cobalt, and arsenic, also abound in this range of mountain.

In this particular county similar appearances of valuable minerals present themselves. In the parish of Tillycoultry, above fifty years ago, a copper mine was wrought to considerable extent by an English company. The stratum or vein of this metal was about 18 inches in depth; and these strata were four in number. After the work was carried on for several years, it was abandoned as unprofitable.

To the eastward, above the village of Dollar, lead and copper mines were at one period wrought. Silver ore has also been found in Glencairn to the west of Castle Campbell; but in so small a quantity as was insufficient to defray the expence of working. About nine or ten years ago a new attempt was made to work the copper mine at Aithrey, and also in the hill above Dollar, but with equally ill success.

Iron ore is also found on the south bank of the Dovan. In consequence of which, and of the great abundance of coal in the vicinity, a flourishing iron work has erected at Sauchie, in the parish of Clackmannan, under firm of the Dovan Company.

Free Stone, both of a white and a red colour, abounds in the county: Fire clay has also been found. A quarry was sometime ago in the hill above Menstrie; but whether from the difficulty of it, or from the inferior quality of the lime, it was soon abandoned.

The limestone used as a manure in this county is obtained partly from Lord Elgin's works in the parish of Culross, and partly from the Sheriff-muir lands, in the neighbourhood of Stirling: but the lime-stone which is in the greatest request in this district is that which is imported from Dunbar, and which is burnt, for the most part, at the Shore of Alloa. The difference of the expence of water carriage from Dunbar and from Culross is considered as of little consequence, whilst the quality of the Dunbar lime is found to be greatly superior. The shells, when slaked, are said to swell to three times their original bulk. It is also in great request with builders.

Coal, however, is unquestionably the most important, as well as the most abundant, mineral of Clackmannanshire. From the base of the Ochills to the Forth, a field of coal extends in various strata, and of various dips. This coal is wrought, especially by Mr Erskine of Mar, upon a very extensive scale: it is exported chiefly by the port of Alloa. For a scientific account of these valuable mines, the reader is referred to Mr Bald's expected communication, to be inserted in the Appendix. [See Mr Bald's Book, as noted above.]

There an account will also be given of a very valuable species of stone, which is found in Mr Erskine's property, of which millstones are constructed of a very superior quality, and the demand for which is daily increasing.

SECTION VI. - Water.

The county Clackmannan is washed, throughout the whole of its southern boundary, by the river Forth, which here becomes a firth, or estuary. The tide flows in this river as far as the Cruives of Craigforth, about a mile above Stirling Bridge, where the fall at low water is, according to the estimates of Messrs Goldburne and Watt, six feet.

The Forth may be considered as a navigable river as far as it extends along the borders of this county. Near the village of Cambus, where the water of Dovan (afterwards to be described) falls into the Forth, the breadth of the river varies from one fourth of a mile to a mile. The windings of the Forth (or links, as they are called) are very remarkable. "The distance from the quay of Alloa to that of Stirling, measured in the centre of the water, is 17 miles; and to the bridge of Stirling it is 19 and a half miles; whereas the distance by land, from that to Alloa, does not exceed seven miles."*

* Mr Erskine of Mar's Original Agricultural Report, 1795 and Stirlingshire Report.

Between the village of Cambus and the town of Alloa there occur, as is represented in the map of this county, three islands in the Forth. One of them is of very considerable extent, amounting to above seventy acres. It is the property of Mr Erskine of Mar. These islands are altogether alluvial. They have been evidently formed by the same process of nature which gave rise to the Carses of Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire; for the account of which the reader is again referred to the Stirlingshire Report. Two of these alluvial islands have been successfully embanked with what is called a Sea Dyke, which protects them from the overflowing of the tide, to which they were formerly exposed at spring tides. The third of these islands is about to receive a defence of the same kind. In offering this account of the Forth, it is necessary to notice a remarkable ledge of rock which stretches across the river above the largest of these islands. It forms a ford at low water during spring tides. This fords however, is seldom attempted; but it occasions a considerable interruption to the navigation of the upper Forth: few Vessels above sixty tons venture to cross this bar or ledge of rocks.

It has been long in contemplation to erect a bridge here, where the breadth of the estuary is only about 300 yards. Mr Erskine of Mar, the principal proprietor in the neighbourhood, has been long intent on this object. The sum required by its execution has been estimated at about L.70,000.

It might probably be shewn that, in a national point of view, this sum might be expended more advantageously in effecting an easy and expeditious communication across the Firth of Forth, than in carrying on the Caledonian Canal.

In order to complete the description of the river Forth, as far as it is connected with this county, the mention of a singular phenomenon, with regard to its tides, appears to be indispensable. For several miles both above and below Clackmannan the tides exhibit an appearance called, by sea-faring men, leaky tides. This phenomenon takes place during niep-tides in good weather; and sometimes also during spring tides, if the weather be uncommonly fine. On these occasions, when the water has flowed for three hours, it retires for an hour and a half, nearly as far as when it had begun to flow. It returns immediately, and dows during another hour and a half to the same height that it had attained before. It is to be remarked, change takes place both in the flood and ebb tides; so that double the number of tides takes place in this river that, as far as is known or recorded, any where else. In very boisterous weather, however, these leaky tides are not regular. In such weather water only swells and gorges up, without any perceptible current, as if two tides were acting against each other.

It is left to the physiologist to give an account of this phenomenon. It has been remarked and described, more than a century ago, by our learned countryman Sir Robert Sibbald, in his "History, Ancient and Modern, of the Sheriffdoms of Fife and Kinross, printed in 1710." It is important to record his account of this appearance, as cited in Mr Erskine of Mar's Original Report.

"It is to be remarked, that in the Forth there are, besides the regular ebbs and flows, several irregular motions, which the commons between Alloa and Culross (who have most diligently observed them) called the Lakies of Forth by which name they express these odd motions of the river when it ebbs and flows: for when it floweth, sometime before it be full sea; and on the contrary, when the sea is ebbing, before low water, it intermits, and fills for some considerable time, and after ebbs till it be low water. And this is called a Lakie. The Rev. Mr Alexander Wright, late minister of the gospel at Alloa, who made a diligent inquiry about these motions, in his letter to me, sent me the following account of them.

There are Lakies in the river of Forth, which are in no other river in Scotland. This Lakie, at low water, in a niep-tide, beginneth at Queensferry, and goeth up in a stream-tide as far as the sea filleth, which is to the Croves of Craigforth; and at niep-tides it goeth no further than the House of Manor at low water. At niep-tide, at high water, it goeth as far as the sea goeth; and at the niepest tide, at the high water, it will be two feet higher than the tide at full water. At the beginning of the stream, the Lakie riseth not so high as the main tide by a foot. At the dying of the stream, when it is full water, it will be two feet higher than the main tide. At the niep-tide, and low water, it shall ebb two hours, and fill two hours; and at full water, ebb an hour, and fill an hour. It is observable, that at the full moon there are no Lakies, neither at full sea nor low water, in the stream which is at that time; but at the niep-tides which follow this stream, there are Lakies, according as it is set down before: but at the stream which is at the change of the moon, which is here called the Overloup, there are Lakies, both at low water and at high water, as is said before; and also at the niep-tides which follow it, both at high and low water. It is very remarkable, at the change of the moon, when it is low water, the Lakie will be two hours, which is the beginning of the tide for that space, and then the tide stands, and will not ebb till the flood come; and at full water it will ebb and flow a large hour. All this is to be understood when the weather is seasonable; for in a storm, there can be no particular account given as to the Lakies. At Queensferry, at niep-tide and stream-tides at high water, there are no Lakies, nor in a stream at low water: neither can I learn, either from seamen or fishermen, where they begin: but it is probable that they begin betwixt Borrowstownness and the mouth of the Water of Carron.

Sir, this account which I give you of the Lakies, I have some of it from my own observation, and the rest from seamen and fishermen which live upon the river of Forth, and by their long experience affirm what I have written is of a truth: and is attested by ALEXANDER WRIGHT, Minister at Alloa."

The only other rivers of which it seems necessary to take notice are the Dovan and the Black Dovan.

The former has its rise in the parish of Blackford, and county of Perth: source is about three and a half miles to the north-east of the village of Menstrie. It runs eastward among the Ochills for about twelve miles and descending upon the plain, makes a very acute turn towards the west, through the pleasant vale off Dovan already described. The course of the river through this vale is nearly parallel to that which it had taken through the Ochills; and after in this direction about 14 miles, it falls into the Forth at the village of Cambus. It is remarkable, that though its whole course, exclusive of its windings, exceeds 26 miles, the distance between its source and its emboucheure does not exceed six. When it descends from the hills, the waters of the river are pure and salubrious but, as it passes westward through the rich loam and clay of the valley, they become dark and muddy. This river, in some parts of its course, has been long celebrated for some instances of local scenery: of this kind particularly are the Cauldron Linn and the Rumbling Bridge, which are well known, and frequently visited by lovers of the picturesque.

In consequence of the vicinity of the Ochills, the Dovan is liable to be suddenly swelled by the rains, and frequently descends in torrents, overflowing its banks. In general, however, it is only a small river. It is at the same time capable of being made navigable to small vessels for a considerable way. In 1766 it was surveyed by Mr James Watt, engineer, who reported, "That it could be made navigable for several miles, to the effect of bringing 10,000 acres of coal within reach of water carriage." The expence he estimated at L.2,000: it would probably require more than twice that sum at present.

The Dovan abounds in excellent trout; near the sea, eels and pikes are found. Salmons also ascend in considerable numbers from the Firth. In spring, sea trouts are caught in considerable numbers. 

In the lower part of the county is another river, called the Black Dovan. It has its source in the Saline hills in Fifeshire. It runs westward in a direction nearly parallel to the Dovan, and falls into the Forth in the parish of Clackmannan. Two aqueducts or branches are derived from this river, one of which drives an engine on the Clackmannan coal; and the other supplies a large reservoir, which works the engine on the Alloa coal, together with the Alloa mills: This reservoir is called the Gartmorn Dam. The extent is about 130 acres: it has a small island in the middle, and abounds in perches, trouts, and pikes. There is another small lake in the parish of Alloa consisting of about 45 acres. In time of great drought, the Black Dovan at one place exhibits the appearance of a lake, by having its waters collected for the purpose of supplying the mills and coal machinery.

The northern district of this county abounds in springs of the purest and most salubrious water. Every little ravine in the Ochills sends down a crystal stream. Some of these streams are so considerable as to suffice for working various kinds of machinery. The water of the middle district, passing through a tilly soil, is less pure; and that of the carses on the south is still inferior. 


SECTION I. - Estates, and their Management.

There are few estates in this county that exceed L.5,000 or L.6,000 a year: the rentals generally run from L.300 to L. 1,000. There are some of L.100, and even less. The great proprietors in this county are Mr Erskine of Mar, Lord Dundas, Mr Bruce of Kennet, Mr Erskine of Tillicoultry, Lord Mansfield, Crawford Tait, Esq. of Harviestown, the Honourable Mr Abercromby of Tillybody, Edward Alexander of Powis, Esq. Mr Stirling of Kippendavie, Mr Dundas of Manor, and Sir Robert Abercromby, K. B. These estates are managed partly by the proprietors, and partly by factors.

SECTION II. - Tenures.

THE great proprietors hold, in almost every instance, of the crown.

There are in this county, as in Stirlingshire, a number of small proprietors, who hold of a subject superior, by a tenure analogous to the English Villein Soccage;- that is, they pay a certain yearly rent. called Feu-duty; and are sometimes bound to perform menial services, such as ploughing, sowing, reaping, and carrying fuel for the superior: those small proprietors are called Portioners.

In the progress of society, their number is gradually diminishing, their properties being either bought up by the superior, or by some of the feuars themselves, who have surpassed their neighbours in industry.

The history of these subdivisions and partial alienations of great estates, so ordinary in Scotland about two centuries ago, is curious. Some elucidations on this subject have been offered in the Stirlingshire Report, under this section. following are added from Mr Erskine of Mar's Original Report of Clackmannanshire. "One farm in the parish of Dollar, of 100 Scotch acres, is held, by being obliged to slaughter all the cattle that may be wanted for the use of the family of Argyle, in the place of Castle Campbell. Formerly there was a particular species of tack or lease (now scarcely known) granted by the landlord, for a low and favourable tack-duty, to those who were either presumed to be lineal successors to the ancient possessors of the land, or whom this proprietor designed to gratify as such: and the lesees were usually styled Rentallers, or Kindly Tenants. Rentals had no ich (i.e. no term of expiration) expressed in them: but as rentals were granted from a special regard to the rentaller, it is most probable they were accounted rights of life-rent, which subsisted during his life. Rentals, when they were thus granted personally, were, upon the tenant's death, frequently renewed in favour of the heir: but this could not be demanded as a right. On such a renewal, the heir paid to the landlord a grassum or fine, in name of entry: and it behoved the landlord, after receiving the grassum, to continue the heir in the farm during his life.

About the end of the sixteenth century, or beginning of the seventeenth, it became usual to convert the rentallers, or kindly tenants into feuars. About this period, a Lord Colvil, who was proprietor of the estate of Tillycoultry, divided about four-fifths of the arable land into 40 feus; which consisted, on an average, of about 30 Scotch acres. There are about 17 or 18 of these feus still remaining. One gentleman has 8 of these 40 parts, with a right of sending sheep to the Ochills; three farmers have each two of them; two others have one each; and one man has one and three quarters of them. All the parish of Dollar was possessed by the rentallers, or kindly tenants, of the family of Argyle. Most of these tenures were converted into feus in the year 1605. They were of various sizes, from 10 Scotch acres to 200. What was called the Mains of Dollar were divided into eight oxengates: and on a recent division before the Sheriff, they were found to contain from 30 to 45 Scotch acres each."

A similar fortune has happened to the small proprietors of Tillycoultry. Whilst some of them still retain the inheritance of their fathers, others have parted with theirs either from choice or necessity. Mr Crawford Tait has bought up a considerable number of these feus both in the parish of Dollar and in that of Tillycoultry.

In the parish of Clackmannan, about 50 acres of ground are feued out to 37 individuals, none possessing more than five acres, and some only a quarter acre. "The teind or tithe of these feus was formerly drawn in kind by the proprietor of the estate of Clackmannan; but the teind was fixed at 28 bolls, which corresponds nearly to 22 quarters 3 bushels. About 40 years ago, it was converted into money rent, at the rate of 6s. 8d. per Scotch acre." In the parish of Alloa there are six feus, none of which consists of more than 13 or 14 Scotch acres.

Two farms in the parish of Alloa, Viz. Cambus and another, are teind free, having belonged to the abbey of Cambuskenneth.


This county adorned with many elegant seats of proprietors. It seems to be unnecessary to enter into a particular detail. The houses of Mr Erskine of Tillycoultry, of Mr Tait, Mr Bruce of Kennet, etc. are modern and elegant. Shaw Park, formerly the property of Lord Cathcart, now that of Lord, Mansfield, is a fine place:- But Alloa House, the seat of Mr Erskine of Mar, was unquestionably, whilst it remained the most magnificent and Venerable residence in this county. It was unfortunately burnt to the ground several years ago, the library alone being saved by the activity of a domestic, who still lives with Mr Erskine as his overseer. The ancient tower of Alloa House still remains. In form it very nearly resembles two other towers that occur in this county, the towers of Clackmannan and of Sauchie.

The period when these towers were erected is uncertain: there is reason to believe that they are of nearly equal antiquity, and that they were built previous to A.D. 1300.

The highest turret of Alloa tower is 89 feet, and the thickness of the walls 11 feet. The gardens were laid out by the late Earl of Mar, grandfather of the present proprietor, in the old taste of long avenues and clipt hedges. The whole has been lately much modernized. The lawn exhibits some of the finest trees, in point of beauty as well as growth, that are to be seen in Scotland. There is an uncommonly fine black poplar, which measures more than 14 feet in at height or four feet from the ground.

The tower of Clackmannan, anciently the property, and occasionally the residence, of the royal family of Bruce, is now Chiefly remarkable for the beautiful prospect which it affords of the adjacent country. The description given by the Rev. Dr Moodie, in his Statistical Account, is so just and elegant, that the Reporter, who has witnessed its accuracy upon the spot, hopes his readers will forgive him for Offering a few extracts*

* It may be proper to observe, that the height of the rising ground on which the tower of Clackmannan is situated is at least 190 feet above the level of the river Forth.

"The scenery beheld from this tower is uncommonly picturesque and beautiful; and has been viewed with admiration by every traveller of taste. The whole country around forms, as it were, one grand amphitheatre, where all the objects are distinctly seen, yet not so near as to disgust the eye. They are at same time infinitely varied. Beyond the town of Stirling, between 20 and 30 miles to the west, the lofty mountains of Benmore, Benvorlich, Ben-Ledi, Benvenue and Benlomond are seen at a distance of from between 30 to 50 miles, raising their romantic tops above the clouds. From the bold scenery of the town and castle of Stirling and the high jutting and rugged rocks around it, the river Forth descends through a valley of several thousand acres of the richest carse land, sometimes dividing, and forming here and there small beautiful islands, which are always green. The fields on every side of it exhibit in time of harvest the most luxuriant variegated prospect which the eye can behold. The various windings of the river are at the same time diversified in every possibility of serpentine form that can add the most exquisite beauty to the surrounding scenery. It passes the village of Clackmannan at the distance of an English mile to the south, where it is a mile in breadth. Three miles below, it forms the appearance of an extensive island lake, about 30 miles in circumference, having on its different sides the harbours, and numerous shipping of Kincardine, Borrowstouness and Grangemouth."

The Doctor then proceeds to describe the interest that arises from the prospect of vessels of various size sailing in various directions along the Firth:- the beauties that adorn the immediate vicinity; and those of the fine screen of verdant mountain, dignified with the ruins of Castle Campbell, which is furnished by the Ochills on the north. The fertile carses of Stirlingshire, adorned with flourishing villages and manufacturing establishments, and, terminated by the Campsie and Kilsyth hills, meet the eye on the south.

SECTION II. - Farm Houses and Offices

The farm houses and offices, or steadings as they are commonly called, were formerly miserable hovels; instead of lime, clay was used for mortar; and the roof was covered with divot, and thatched with straw. The walls were scarcely seven feet high: the windows were very small: they were generally closed with two boards that opened in the middle; and a small pane of glass was inserted in each division of the upper part of the boards, which afforded a scanty light.

It cannot be supposed that such uncomfortable abodes could be kept in a state of much cleanliness. Dirt and soot and smoke were their general characteristics. with the introduction of better accommodations for the peasantry of this county, cleanliness is rapidly making its way in the habitations of this class of men.

For near 40 years past the houses of farmers in this district have been gradually improving. They are now built with stone and lime: the windows are enlarged, and for the most part of glass. Home fir, of 35 or 40 years growth, was formerly used for roofs, the price being only about one half of that of foreign wood: but whilst the expence of working the fir exceeded that of the foreign, it was found that the latter lasted about five times as long as the former; so that it proved upon the whole the cheapest.

The dwelling house generally fronts the south. It consists for the most part of only one story. On all Mr Erskine of Mar's principal farms, however, such as King of Muirs, Lorns' Hill, etc. there are elegant houses of two stories, covered with slate or tiles, and fitted for the accommodation of a genteel family. These farms are provided with a straw yard, with a commodious set of offices, including a barn, with a thrashing-mill, byre, stables, feeding house, etc. The barn, which is commonly 16 feet wide by 30 to 35 feet long within walls, is generally placed on the west side, in order to have the barn-yard exposed to that quarter from whence the wind most generally blows: the cart shed is placed at the end of the barn opening towards the south; by which means it admits of having a greater quantity of bulky articles stowed into it than if it opened to the Side.

The accommodations of the farm-steadings keep pace with the enlargement of the farms; where the farm is small, the houses and offices must be upon a narrow scale.

The subjects of Sections II. IV. and V. of this chapter are so accurately and fully treated by Mr Erskine in the Original Report, that it is reckoned sufficient to transcribe what he has written without any addition.

"The landlord most commonly builds the farmhouse and offices; and the tenant generally performs all carriages, and becomes obliged to keep up all the buildings, and leave them in good habitable condition on the expiration of the lease. Sometimes the landlord, instead of building the house and offices, give the tenant a sum of money to erect them himself, under the same obligations of leaving them in good condition at the end of the lease. On small farms, the sum given is from L.30 to L.100."

"What sort of an house and farm offices can be expected to be raised for that sum? If the tenant is an industrious real farmer, he must erect tolerable offices, for he knows that a great deal depends on having them well contrived; and the sum that is thus drawn unwillingly from him, is, in fact, a grassum, or fine, that he pays for the lease. Would it not be attended with good consequences, both to tenants and to landlords, if it were to become an universal custom (for it is said that it is already commenced in some parts of the country), that, wherever new steadings; or onsteads; are necessary, the landlord should lay out one year's rent on the house and offices, and the tenant to perform all the carriages; and whatever buildings the tenant should think indispensable, the landlord should erect them, and the tenant to be obliged to pay seven and a half per cent. for them, over and above the stipulated rent for the farm?*"

*In the Stirlingshire Report, the Author had suggested that "instead of seven and a half per cent. as interest for money that is sunk in farm buildings, five per cent. should he adopted as the rate, leaving the additional two and a half per cent. as a compensation for the indispensable obligation imposed upon the tenant to preserve his tenements in due repair, and to leave them in that state at the end of the lease." To that idea of the equity of the regulation suggested he must still adhere. He also is still of opinion that it is a great loss to the tenant, in conducting the operations of the farm, to perform the carriages.

"This method would ensure good offices to the tenant, and ensure the landlord that no more buildings than what were absolutely necessary for the farm would be required by the tenant. And in order to oblige the tenant to pay all proper attention to the repairs, there should be a clause inserted in the lease, that if the landlord, or his factor and steward, should find that the tenant neglected the repairs, that he should send notice to him to have them completed by a certain time; which if the tenant did not perform, that the steward should have power to send tradesmen to do them, and charge the expence of the said repair to the tenant's account, who should be obliged to pay it along with his rent. This method is found to be infinitely superior to that of leaving the repairs necessary to be made at the end of the lease to be estimated by the birley-men*, whose judgment is not often very accurate, and neither pleases the landlord nor the out or incoming tenant."

* The Birley-men are persons appointed in certain districts, and generally named by the laird, or factor on the estate; they are chosen from amongst the respectable tenantry in the vicinity. Their office is to value, upon conscience, and according to their best skill, the repairs which an outgoing tenant is bound to make on the steading which he leaves;- the manure which he leaves to the incoming tenant; victual sold un-thrashed, by sample; and small matters of a similar nature occurring in the district. They are almost always honest men; but cannot be expected to have much enlargement of ideas.

"The houses and offices, as formerly mentioned, used to be covered with thatch and divot. Of late, they are generally covered with pantiles. They have a more agreeable appearance than the old thatch-roofs: but there are many inconveniences attending them, especially in a country subject to high winds, which often uncover large spaces of the roof, and break a great quantity of tiles. They are extremely cold in winter, and excessively warm in summer. In short, they make an unpleasant and expensive covering for any kind of buildings: but as the first cost of them is considerably less than a slate-roof, tiles are come into general use."

"A gentleman in this district*,"  * The gentleman is understood to have been Mr Erskine of Mar himself.

"anxious to remove, if possible, some of the inconveniences attending them, was inclined to follow the remedy used in Yorkshire, as described in Mr Marshall's Rural Economy of the District round Pickering: but he found that the expence would fall little short of a slate-roof. He then thought of combining the thatch and tile together. The method he followed was to nail on the under-side of the couples or rafters some tile-lath, and then to fill up the space between the couples or rafters with wheat-straw, and afterwards had the tiles put on in the common way: this saved the pointing of the tiles with lime on the inside, prevented the wind from having so great an effect on them, and rendered the building as warm as a thatch roof. The greatest objection against this practice is the danger of fire. To obviate this, the gentleman fell on another expedient. Instead of the tile-lath nailed on the under side of the rafters, he had thin lath-boards, of about a fourth of an inch thickness (such as was used for plastering-lath, in all parts of Scotland, until very lately) nailed on the under side of the couples.

This lessens the danger of fire, and does not add a great deal to the expence: and makes a most comfortable covering to the house, as well as to the offices; for it gives warmth in the winter, and renders them cool in summer. This contrivance, however, is of so recent a date that it cannot be asserted to have totally removed all the objections to a tile roof. Perhaps, on further trial, as many inconveniences may be found to arise from it as from those it was intended to remove. It is suspected that it may occasion the timber to decay more rapidly, and that it may harbour a considerable quantity of vermin. This inconvenience might, however, be easily got the better of, by only taking off the tile, and replacing straw wherever the vermin became obnoxious; and the trouble and expence of doing this would be a mere trifle*."

* Some small sand well dried, or very small gravel strewed amongst the straw, will probably prevent the mice from injuring it. For the account of paper roofs, now frequently used, see the Farmer's Magazine, No. 33. and the Stirlingshire Report, p. 81.

SECTION VI. - Bridges.

This county is, in general, well supplied with bridges wherever they are necessary. There was formerly a very good stone bridge over the Dovan, nearly opposite to the church of Dollar, which was many years ago swept away by a flood. By the public spirit of a few persons in the neighbourhood, an elegant wooden bridge has been thrown over the river at the same place, which affords comfortable accommodation to foot passengers;- but though the ford is good, persons on horseback, especially when the river is swelled, labour under much inconvenience. In every other direction of the roads excellent bridges are to be met with.


SECTION I. - Size of Farms.

THE size of farms in this county may in general be reckoned small. Proprietors, however, have of late begun to consider it as equally their interest, and that of the tenant, to enlarge the farms, and to diminish the number of occupants. Many proprietors also choose to retain a considerable part of their estates in their own possession, in order to bring them into a higher state of cultivation, and to extend their plantations.

In the parishes of Tillycoultry and Dollar, and in that part of the parish of Logie which lies within this county, the farms are small; the largest farm possessed by a tenant not exceeding 120 Scots acres, and the smallest being about 25 acres. Some of the feuars of Tillycoultry, and most of those of Dollar, farm their own possessions.

In the parishes of Clackmaman and Alloa, though there are some small firms, they are in general considerably larger. The carse farms run from 60 or 70 to 80 Scots acres. There are some farms in the carse of 180 acres. One farmer there has 360 acres. This is occupied by a distiller, whose great command of manure induced the proprietor to let it to him, as a great part of the land was of a poor quality, lying on a till bottom, and much neglected.

SECTION II. - Farmers.

IN the view of political economy, few subjects are of more importance than the condition and character of the occupiers of land. Wherever the farmer is oppressed and despised, poor and illiterate, what improvements can be expected of him? It is only of late that this valuable class of men has begun to rise into consideration, into comfort, and opulence. After having enlarged one this subject in the Stirlingshire Report, it is not deemed necessary now to resume the subject.

The farmers on Mr Erskine of Mar's estate have the appearance and habits of gentlemen: they are lodged and live in comfort: their intelligence is suitable to their condition; and the style agriculture which they practise is conformable to their knowledge.


THE rents of lands in this county have increased rapidly with the progress of improvements of late years. It may be proper to state the rents that were most common when Mr Erskine drew up his Report in 1795, in order to afford an opportunity of comparing them with the present rents of 1812.

Mr Erskine states "that the carse lands in the parish of Logie let from 30 to 50 shillings per Scots acre. In the parish of Tillycoultry, the rents of the low grounds along the banks of the Dovan are generally from 15 to 25 shillings per acre. In the poorer grounds some lands may let," says he, "for 10 shillings per acre; but a great part of them cannot be worth more than 4 or 5 shillings per acre. In the parish of Dollar, the rents and other circumstances are pretty similar to those of the parish of Tullycoultry. The rents in the parish of Clackmannan, and Alloa are very various, according to the soil. The carse lands and fine loam let from 30 shillings to 2 guineas acre: but small enclosures near the villages let from L.2 to L.3 per acre. Inferior lands from 10 to 25 shillings per acre. Some of the worst lands scarcely reach to 4 shillings per acre."

Such was the state of rents in Clackmannanshire in 1795. By the information recently procured by the Reporter, the following statement of the ordinary rents of this County in 1812 is given upon the best authority.

Muir and moss land in the parish of Dollar, south of the Dovan, lets at 15 shillings per Scots acre.

By a valuation said to have been made by Dr Coventry, the learned and scientific professor of agriculture in the University of Edinburgh, the hill of Craiginnan, and Bank's hill, (sheep pasture in the Ochills, and in the parish of Dollar) are stated at 5 shillings per acre:— the arable banks at the base of the hills at 2 guineas; and the loam in the vale at L.3. 10s. per acre.

About the village of Menstrie, village acres let from L.7 to L.10. In the adjacent farms the carse lands let from L.3 to L.6 per acre. Grass lands for pasture let in the vale of Dovan from L.3 to L.6 per acre. Through the whole of the arable slip of ground that stretches along the bottom of the Ochills, the land lets from L.2 to L.3 per acre.

The lands in the vale of Dovan are much sought after, and generally taken in lease by butchers during the summer season for fattening their cattle; they are commonly let by auction in the month of April, to be occupied from Whitsunday to Martinmas. The pasture consists of sown grass, viz. white and red clover, rye grass, there being little old grass in the district. According to Mr Erskine's statement in 1795, these grass lands were usually let from 30 to 50 shillings per Scots acre. They now let to the butchers, and to the inhabitants of the village for their milk cows, from L.4 to L.6.per acre.

There are instances in Clackmannanshire of carse lands which are let at L.7 per acre to actual farmers.

Terms of Payment.

The terms for payment of rent in this district are very various. Some pay all the rent of the preceding crop at Whitsunday, others have two terms of payment, one half at Whitsunday and the other at Lammas. Some pay one-third of their rent at Candlemas, one third at Whitsunday, and the remaining third at Lammas. Some few, indeed, pay their rent quarterly; viz. for the crop 1794, they pay one-fourth at Martinmas 1794, one-fourth at Candlemas 1795, one-fourth at Whitsunday, and the last quarter at Lammas.

The rents for pasture-ground, when let annually, are generally paid at Martinmas: sometimes indulgence is given to Candlemas.

Formerly it was the custom to pay the rent partly in kind and partly in money. The proportion differed as fancy dictated. Some paid two-thirds in grain; and one-third in money; while others paid half-and-half. Now most of the rents are paid in money, although there are some estates that are still paid partly in kind and partly in money. This is a subject that has a good deal discussed: it is yet very doubtful which is the best method. Some of these arguments will be found under the Miscellaneous Observations. Over and above the rent, some geese, ducks and hens, which go under the denomination of kain, were often paid. The practice is still continued on some estates, though the good farmer objects much to it. The tenants were formerly obliged to perform carriages, and to plough, and harrow, and assist in cutting down and putting in their masters crop of hay and corn: but these services, which were very oppressive, are now mostly laid aside.

The term of entry to an arable farm is Martinmas. The duration of tacks or leases are of various lengths. Some are for 7 years, some for 14, most are for 19, some for 30, and some for two 19 years. How 19 years. ever could come to be a term generally fixed on is not easy to be conceived, as it answers no one kind of rotation or course of crops whatsoever.

There are not above 2 or 3 estates where the tenants are bound down to any particular kind of rotation: and, probably, there is only one small estate where the rules are strictly observed, and that is in the case, where the tenants are convinced that it is by far the most beneficial one for themselves.

Coals and all minerals are generally reserved in the leases, with liberty of working them, and power to make roads to them, although not in the farm, upon payment of surface damages. These are sometimes left to be determined by the birley-men or by arbiters, one chosen by each party. Sometimes the damage is ascertained by the quantity of ground taken up, and one-third more than the rent of the ground damaged is allowed to the tenant.

In most leases, all sub-tenants and assignees, legal or conventional, are excluded. There is one estate, however, consisting of of 400 Scots acres, where the tenant is not under these restrictions. The estate was sold in the year 1742 for near L.7000. It was sold again in 1759 for L.10,000. The gentleman who bought it let it a few years after his purchase to one tenant, on condition that he was to fence it. The lease was for two 19 years. For the first 19 the tenant paid L.400 per annum; and for the last 19 he paid L.500 per annum. The tenant immediately sub-let it to 9 or 10 people, who now pay from 35 shillings to 2 guineas per acre.

No accurate account can be given of the expences and profits of the farmer in this district, partly from the circumstance that few farmers keep regular accounts of their transactions, and partly because they are unwilling to communicate the precise situation of their affairs.

The account of the provision for the poor is reserved for Chap. xvi. sect. x. The property tax, as it is now levied on the tenantry, is considered by them as oppressive. That one half of their rent should be considered as clear gain, and liable, if it amounts to L.50 a-year, to a taxation of 2s. the pound, they reckon to be an extravagant calculation of their profits. The necessity, of the times alone can furnish any apology for such measures.

Some respectable associations of gentlemen, proprietors of land in Scotland, are now forming in different counties, for the purpose of applying to the legislature for the modification of this obnoxious tax.


SECTION I. - Ploughs.

"The Scotch plough," Mr Erskine observes, "drawn by four miserable horses, was used till very lately by small farmers in the least cultivated parts of this county. But the two-horse plough, with an iron head and mould board, commonly called Small's plough, is now in general use." It may be stated that the ordinary price of one of these ploughs, with all its accoutrements, at the present time, varies from L.5 to L.8.

SECTION II. - Harrows.

The harrows most commonly used are 4 feet 4 inches long, by 3 feet 9 inches broad, having 4 bulls, with 5 iron tines in each bull. Two of these are linked together, and drawn by two horses abreast. Some farmers prefer having three horses yoked together, each drawing a single harrow, with a boy to drive them. Two of these harrows have two tines in the bulls nearest the horses left out, to prevent the horses from being hurt in turning them; the third has all the tines left in. The farmers, who are accustomed to this mode of harrowing, insist that they can go over more ground, with less fatigue to the horses, and at a less expence, than by the other method, which, instead of two, requires three boys to perform the same work. Sometimes, in rough ground, the brake harrow with 5 bulls, and of a large size, is used, drawn by two horses; a third horse draws the common harrow of 4 bulls.

SECTION III. - Rollers.

ROLLERS of wood and stone are in universal use; of the application of this implement, so indispensable in husbandry, enough, and perhaps too much, has been said in the Stirlingshire Report. To that the reader is referred: it would be improper to occupy these pages with a repetition. The diameter of the stone rollers is from 15 to 18 inches: the length about 5 feet 9 inches: the weight is from 7 to 10 cwt. exclusive of the frame.

SECTION IV. - Drills.

The drill-barrow is in general use. some are constructed for sowing only one drill, some sow two, and some three. In every case the roller that accompanies the barrow must be of a length sufficient to cover all the drills.

Without entering into a detail of various implements of agriculture specified in the plan of the Board, and many of which are altogether unknown in this district, the Reporter may be permitted to proceed to the account of the very important invention of thrashing-mills, which had its origin in this county, and which has produced so great a change in the in-door operations of British farmers.

SECTION VII. - Thrashing-Mills.

Without attempting to revive the controversy which has been lately agitated to so little purpose, with regard to the original inventor of the thrashing mill, it may be sufficient to remark, that in the year 1787; Mr George Meikle of Alloa erected one of the first that was made on an improved construction at Kilbagie, in this county. It is driven, as are some others in this district, by water. It is reckoned that there are at present in this small county no less than seventy-two thrashing-mills; a circumstance which furnishes a very favourable idea of the state of agriculture in this quarter. They are furnished with a due apparatus of shakers, fanners, etc. The proportions of the thrashing mill at Mr Erskine's farm of King of Muirs, are as follows: viz.

The horse wheel has 390 teeth.
The pinion for ditto 18 teeth.
The crown wheel 72 teeth.

A most material though very simple improvement has been introduced into all the thrashing-mills on Mr Erskine's property. From the complicated nature of the machinery, obstructions are known to occur frequently in the upper works, by which not only the fabric, but the limbs and lives of the people employed, are endangered. In such cases a considerable time must elapse before a person can go down and stop the motion of the horses. This inconvenience is completely obviated by having a small bell hung in the horses shed: the string of which reaches to the upper works, and can be touched in a moment by any of the workmen there in case of danger. The horses are taught in a few days to stop at the instant that the bell rings; when the obstruction is removed the bell rings again, and the horses instantly set off of their own accord.*

* It is of importance to add, that Mr Erskine remarked to the Reporter, "that in every instance of a thrashing-mill giving way, this happened in the beginning of harvest, owing to the toughness of the straw." This suggests a lesson to the armer.

To ascertain the advantages of a thrashing-mill, the following experiment was made on one of Mr Erskine's farms: Two men in 8 hours thrashed 9 thraves of victual with the flail, producing three bolls three firlots and one peck of grain: the thrashing-mill produced the same quantity in one quarter of an hour.


The only other article in this chapter which seems to require particular specification is that of carts, suggested in Section xiv.

The better sort of farmers in this county use carts of a good size, with wheels of about 52 inches in height. Iron axles are commonly used. One horse carts, and two horse carts are employed: the former, from the facility of managing them, are considered as the most useful: the latter are considered as necessary when the grounds are steep.

The ordinary size of a single horse cart is from 4 feet 9 inches to 5 feet in length; and from 8 feet 3 inches to 3 and a half feet in breadth. It contains from 3 to 3 and a half wheat bolls, corresponding nearly to 12 and a half or 14 bushels.

The larger carts for two horses are generally from 5 to 5 and a half feet in length, and from 3 feet 3 inches to 3 and a half feet in breadth. The weight of the larger carts, which depends chiefly on the size of the axle, and the thickness of the iron rim, is from 7 and a half to 9 and a half cwt.

One of the best of these carts, fully mounted, will now cost L.15. A carrier's cart will last from 4 to 6 years; and requires to be repaired once in 8 months with 13 stones of iron.

The hay and corn cart consists of a long open body made to fit the axle of the common cart. It carries from 80 to 100 stones of hay. As the hay weight is 22 lb. to the stone, this corresponds nearly to 18 or 22 cwt. It is generally drawn by two horses, though one good horse is able to draw that quantity, if the road is not very steep. Indeed, it is the opinion of many intelligent farmers, that the thill or shaft horse will in a few years wear out the trace horse, though former had been originally the worse animal*.

* This is also the general opinion on the south side of the Forth. See Stirlingshire Report.

Of the waggons employed on the railways in this county, the Reporter hopes to have it in his power to give some account in Chap. xvi.


ON the subject of inclosing, Mr Erskine's detail in the original Report is so complete and precise that it is thought expedient to insert it verbatim.

"There are some parts of the carse inclosed hedge and ditch. But this does not, in the general opinion, add to their value, as the hedges, in some measure, obstruct the free circulation of air: a matter of the greatest consequence in the harvest time, the grounds lying very low. And as now most of the farmers feed their cows and horses on cut clover in the house, the inclosures are of little use. The farmers, therefore, give as much rent for the uninclosed lands as for those that are inclosed."

"In those parts of the district where the grounds are alternately tilled and laid down for pasture, the farmers are very willing to pay well for the inclosing - often paying 5s. per acre for it. Some pay from 7 and a half to 10 per cent for the money laid out on the fences. Of late years, a great quantity of such land has been inclosed. Indeed, it is a little surprising that there has not been still more done, as the encouragement is so great."

"There are various modes of inclosing in this district. Dry stone walls, where the stones were pretty easily got, were formerly built for 21s. per rood of 36 square ells. The height of these walls is usually 4 and a half feet: so that 24 ells in length make a rood; the price is 10 and a half pence per ell in length. But of late years the price has risen to 26s. per rood, or 13d. the running ell. There are a few Galloway dikes. The expence of building these is pretty nearly the same as of the dry-stone dikes. But the common method of inclosing is with hedge and ditch.  - A ditch of 5 feet breadth at top is 2 and a half feet deep, and 1 foot broad at the bottom. Two rows of thorns are placed in the face of the ditch: the earth that comes out of the ditch is thrown on the top, forming a mound, on which is put a paling. The expence of making the ditch is from 6d. to 8d. per fall of 6 ells: the thorns are generally bought from 7s. 6d. to 10S. the thousand, six score to the hundred: the price of the paling, and erecting it, is from 2s. to 2s. 4d. per ell: so that the expence of making the fence may be reckoned from 5 and a half pence to 6 and a half pence per ell. The tenant is generally obliged to clean the hedges and uphold the paling. But as this is too much neglected by most tenants, those landlords who are attentive to their fences undertake the charge of cleaning the hedges and keeping up the fences, and oblige their tenants to pay half the expence of it. There is but too little attention paid in this district to the keeping of the fences in repair. But there are some kept in good order. These are made according to Sir George Suttie's method, as mentioned in the Survey of East Lothian. The ditch should be 5 feet broad at the top, 2 and a half feet deep, and 1 foot broad at the bottom. The surface of the ground on the side of the ditch on which the thorns are intended to be planted ought to be pared to the breadth of 2 or 3 feet, and a space of 1 foot next the ditch should be left for an edging, or scarcement, as it is called in this country - but denominated an-off-set in Mr Marshall's valuable Treatise on Planting and Rural Ornament. The remaining part of the ground that had been pared should be then dug to the depth of 8 or 9 inches, and about 2 or 3 inches of the best earth that the ditch affords should be put over it, and the thorns then laid, not horizontally, but with their points inclined a little upwards, so that the rain may run down the plants to the roots. The thorns should be placed about 9 inches asunder, then a foot of good mould thrown over the roots of the thorns, and another scarcement, or off-set, of 3 or 4 inches, is left before the second row of thorns is planted. They should be placed opposite to the middle of the vacancy of the first line of plants, and their heads should be pretty nearly equal the back-line of the second scarcement. Then cover these quicks with some good mould, to the depth of 4 or 5 inches, and level the bank to the breadth of 3 or 4 feet, and tread the earth well down, in order to give a good base for a low wall to rest on. The base should be about 9 or 10 inches (but it must not on any account exceed 1 foot) from the roots of the uppermost thorns. The bottom of the wall ought to be at least 20 inches broad: and the height should be full 2 feet and an half, tapering towards the top, which should not exceed the breadth of 12 inches; and should be covered by a single stone laid flat, on which a sod of some thickness should be placed, with the grass-side undermost, over which some earth should be placed in this form - something like a prism, but rounded at the top, over which a large sod should be put, so as the whole earth is well covered. This quantity will adhere together, and long retain some moisture, so that the grass will have a good chance of vegetating for a considerable time: its weight will prevent it from being easily displaced by any wind; and it will likewise add 5 or 6 inches to the height of the wall*."

* I find from experience, that if the stones are well laid in good mortar, no other cope should be added, as it makes the hedge, when grown up to cover the wall, grow irregular, and leave some places bare. The cope is best made with stones of the thickness of 6 inches at least; these are more strongly fixed than flat stones; of course less liable to be displaced, and preserve the wall better.

"The expence of erecting these low walls depends so much on the ease or difficulty of working the quarry, and the distance it is from the place where the fence is wanted, that it would be of little use to narrate the cost of them; especially as the rate of wages in different parts of the country differ so very considerably, that I can only offer some data to enable people in different places to form a conjecture about the expence of this kind of fence."*

* The expence of these stone and lime low walls is now become so high as to make it impossible to make such fences with any view of being repaid from the advantage of the inclosures. Low Galloway dikes are still within compass; And, from the experience I have had, in my opinion ought to be preferred.

"The ditchers wages are now commonly from 1s. to 1s. 2d. per day. I generally pay for the whole by the great; and the price of paring the earth, making the ditch, laying the thorns, and preparing the top of the bank for the wall, is from 8d. to 9d. for 6 Scotch ells running measure."*

* 6 Scotch ells are nearly 6 and a quarter English yards.

"The price of the thorns in the nursery differ, according to their age from 5s. to 10s. per thousand, 1200 reckoned to the 1000. Good thorns, proper for planting out, may be had for 7s. 6d. per thousand. A double row of thorns, at 9 inches distance, will take from 9 to 10 thorns to a yard in length."

"The quarriers wages were formerly from 12d. to 16d. per day. They are now from 16d. to 18d. When they worked piece-work, formerly the price used to be from 8s. to 10s. per rood of 36 square ells, according to the ease or difficulty of working the quarry. The price has now risen in proportion to their day-wages."

"The men who were employed to build walls for inclosing of fields, were formerly called Cowans, to distinguish them from more regular masons, who were employed in hewing stones and building houses. The wages of these inferior kind of masons were formerly from 14d. to 16d. per day; now they are at least paid from 16d. to 18d. and sometimes 20d. When they worked by the piece, they built a rood of 36 square ells from 11s. to 12s.: they now seek higher prices, in proportion to the daily wages."

"It will take from 50 to 60 carts to make a rood of 36 square ells*; and these will require about 16 bolls of lime, corresponding nearly to 65 Winchester bushels.

* The carts carry from 8 to 10 cwt. - When the walls are 2 and a half feet high, it will take about 45 English yards in length to make a rood of 36 square ells.

"The expence of leading the stones depends upon the distance they are carried, and the price of hiring carts. — Carts about Alloa were formerly hired from 1s. 6d. to 2s. per day; now they are from 2s. 6d to 3s."

"In the second volume of the Museum Rusticum there are tables shewing the number of times a cart can go and return to the gravel pit, according to the distance; and, from experiences I have found them pretty exact. A cart can travel about 18 miles, which is equal to 31,680 yards in a day. If the distance from the quarry does not exceed a mile, a cart can go and return 9 times in a day; so that it will take about 4 and a half pence or 5d. per cart for leading the stones."

"The expence of digging and carrying the sand and water will amount to 6s. 6d. per rood. It must be acknowledged that the original expence of making these kind of fences is considerably higher than the common hedge and ditch with a paling; but it is so far superior in utility, that where fences are necessary, farmers can well afford to pay for them, especially as the expence of keeping them in repair is trifling in comparison of keeping up and renewing the palings. Hedges alone are seldom brought to be a fence that can be depended on to keep in all kinds of cattle. Indeed, the cattle in exposed situations, especially in these northern parts, are so impatient of confinement at the commencement of the long, cold, wet nights, that even the best placed hedges are not able to resist them. Besides, these fences more effectually keep in the light northern kind of sheep than wall of 6 feet high, And the advantage of obtaining so complete a fence on a certainty in seven or eight years, compared with that of taking the chance of one in fifteen or twenty, is scarcely to be done away at any expence whatever bestowed upon planting and training it."*

* See Marshall's Planting and Rural Ornament, vol. I.

"When I first began to make these fences, I committed some considerable errors, for I had never seen any of them, and only had them executed from a slight description of them; but a very little soon taught me to correct these faults. I put too much earth over the thorns, which made the wall stand far from the hedge; which allowed the cattle to get between the hedge and the wall, and so enabled them to get easily over it. likewise (in order to heighten the wall) drew the top to a point, so that the weather soon crumbled it down. Experience taught me to put a small quantity of earth over the thorns: and, on consulting Mr Hanbury's Corporate Body of Planting and Gardening, I had pleasure to find that he strongly recommends it. In the 64th page of the first volume, he says 'Ditches for ring-fences may be 4 feet wide; but care must be taken at the same time not to overload the quicks, as a ditch of this size will afford too much earth to be laid on it. Four inches depth of soil is to crown the quicks, unless it be a very dry soil; if so, a little more may be given; and this should be laid flat over it, in order to retain such moisture as falls."

"Warmth is certainly as beneficial to hedges as to trees: these low walls give the shelter so absolutely necessary for rearing young hedges in very bleak exposed situations; and they likewise preserve a proper moisture about the roots."

"In order to save the expence of defending the hedge on that side next the ditch, the fields should be thrown into such course of crops as to gain 5 or 6 years before any cattle are turned into them; although this is rather difficult, as the cattle in that field which has the wall between it and the thorns, reach over the wall, and crop the young shoots; which, though it prevents the thorns from covering the wall as soon as they would otherwise do, is not of such very bad consequence as might be expected; for the fences are improved by cutting the thorns close to the ground, at the end of 6 or 7 years after planting, and then having them carefully trained."

"It is almost impossible for any one who has not seen any of these fences to conceive the rapidity of the growth of the hedges. I had a hedge of 6 or 7 years of age cut down early in the spring, and a low wall placed behind it in the course of the summer; and by the end of the same year the shoots were in general fully as high as the wall, and in many places higher: so that 3 or 4 years make these complete fences.

No live-fences ought to be expected without constant care and attention; and they will ever require some expence to keep them in complete order; and if bulls are attempted to be kept in the enclosures, the hedge must be trained to overtop the wall at least 2 and a half feet. I apprehend that the most economical way of keeping these fences is to have them clipped annually*: although I am not certain but hedges that are not annually trained make the most formidable fence for a few years; but then I imagine it would be expensive to reduce them to proper bounds; and they are liable to be much damaged by the snow lying on them: but as I have not yet made any comparison of the expence of clipping them annually, or reducing them from time to time when they are grown wild, I cannot pretend to ascertain which method is most advisable to be followed."

* From experience, I find that the annual clipping with garden shears is by far the best and cheapest method of keeping these fences in complete order.

"If it is thought that building the walls with lime is too expensive, dry stone walls, such as are described by Sir Digby Legard and Mr Danby, in the second volume of Mr A. Young's Six Months Tour, might be adopted in such places where proper kind of stones for them can be procured, and people found who are thoroughly acquainted with building dry stone walls. The addition of hedges to these would be a considerable improvement, as they unite the warmth and ornament of the fence with the security of the wall. These fences are particularly applicable to the Wolds of Yorkshire, and many parts of the counties of Oxford, Gloucester, and Somerset: and I am almost certain that, if a fair trial was once made in those places, they would soon be generally adopted."


SECTION I. - Tillage.

The various operations of tillage enumerated in the plan of this section are carried to as great perfection in Clackmannanshire as in any part of Scotland. It is said that it was in this district that ploughing with two horses, driven by ploughman, was first introduced; and it is certain that no-where is it performed more neatly than on the improved farms in this vicinity. There being nothing, however, in these operations peculiar to the practice of this county, which is now so generally diffused over Scotland, it does not appear necessary to enlarge on this head.

It is proper at the same time to remark, that an improvement of great utility in ploughing lands of a tilly subsoil, which occur to a considerable extent in this county, has been introduced by Mr Erskine of Mar on the farm which he occupies. In such fields he employs a plough, from which the sock or iron head has been taken off, and, having only a coulter or share, so set as to penetrate deep into the till. This plough immediately precedes the common plough which is at work at the same time in the field. By the former the till is loosened to a considerable depth; but it is not brought up to the surface: it is left precisely where it lay, the common plough, which immediately succeeds, reaching only through the vegetable mould which had been in ordinary cultivation.

The advantages of this mode of ploughing, in lands of a tilly soil, are obvious and important. By loosening the impervious till to a certain depth, opportunity is afforded to the water, which would have otherwise accumulated on its surface, to percolate, to leave the mould in a condition more favourable to vegetation.

It may be added, upon the principles advanced in the Stirlingshire Report, that the tilly earth itself, by being loosened and exposed to the alternate influence of the suns of summer, and the frosts of winter, will be gradually converted into fertile mould.

SECTION II. - Fallowing.

Without entering at present into the philosophy of this operation, which has occupied perhaps too many pages of the Stirlingshire Report, let it suffice to observe, that it is almost universally practised in this county as the first and fundamental process in establishing a course of crops. In the neighbourhood of the villages of Alloa, Clackmannan, Menstrie, etc. many acres of land are let to the villagers at a high rent, as will afterwards be stated, for planting potatoes, they furnishing the dung, and the tenant for the most part the labour. Such crops are considered as furnishing an excellent fallow, and are almost always succeeded by wheat.

SECTION III. - Course of Crops.

Mr Erskine states, that formerly no particular rotation was followed in this county. The ignorant and slovenly farmer sowed, l. Barley, 2. Oats, 3. Beans on strong soils; or pease and beans on lighter soils.

The rotation which is now most approved of by carse farmers is,

1. Fallow.
2. Wheat.
3. Beans, broad cast.
4. Barley and grass-seeds.
5. Hay.
6. Oats.

The following rotations are also practised:-

1. Fallow.
2. Wheat, with grass-seeds.
3. Hay.
4. Oats
5. Beans.
6. Barley, with grass-seeds.
7. Hay.
8. Oats.

l. Fallow, or potatoes horse-hoed.
2. Wheat.
3. Pease and Beans.
4. Barley, with grass-seeds.
5. Hay.
6. Pasture for two, three, or four years.
7. Oats

On inferior soils the following rotations are observed:-

1. Fallow.
2. Barley and grass-seeds.
3. Hay.
4. Pasture for three or four years.
5. Oats.
6. Pease and beans.
7. Oats.

The following rotations also occurred to the Reporter:-

On old Lea.

1. Two crops of oats.
2. Green crop, or summer fallow.
3. Wheat with dung and lime, and grass-seeds.
4. Hay.
5. Oats.

1. Summer fallow.
2. Wheat, with 55 bolls of lime in shells, and 36 tons of distillery dung, equal to 72 tons of common dung, per acre.
3. Beans.
4. Barley with grass-seeds.
5. Hay.
6. Oats.

SECTION IV. - Wheat.

There is reason to believe that wheat was cultivated upon the banks of the Forth in this county at a very early period. No soil indeed is better calculated for producing this grain than the carses on both sides of the river. It appears, from the rental of the Abbacy of Cambuskenneth, situated on one of the banks of the Forth, and founded in A.D. 1147, that a considerable quantity of wheat was paid from the adjacent lands as a part of the revenue of the Abbey.

How the culture of wheat came to be laid aside in a district where it had been once introduced, is not to be easily accounted for; but it is certain that, about 40 years ago, a crop of wheat was seldom to be met with in Clackmannanshire. It is now very generally and successfully cultivated, especially in the carses. It forms, as may be seen in the last section, a part of every approved course of crops.

It is always preceded by a summer's fallow, or by potatoes or turnips horse-hoed. The land is sometimes manured with lime and dung, and sometimes not.

Wheat is commonly sown from the beginning of September to the middle of November. When sown before the middle of October, from 2 to 2 and a half firlots standard measure are given to the Scotch acre; if after the middle of October, from 2 to 3 firlots per acre are given.

The seed is commonly pickled before sowing. Of late some farmers have kiln-dried their seed, which has been found to answer perfectly. The following directions with regard to kiln-drying were given several years ago to Mr Erskine of Mar by an intelligent baker of Alloa, who had received them from an Irishman as the ordinary practice in his country. Mr Erskine has adopted this method with success. The seed grew well, and was entirely free from disease.

"Let the wheat be laid upon the kiln about 3 or 4 inches thick; the kiln to be heated middling strong with blind coal; the wheat to continue on the kiln for 24 hours, but turned frequently. After taking it off the kiln, it must be allowed 24 hours to cool: during which time it must be often turned; then put it through the fanners once or twice." The baker adds, - "After the wheat has lain a few hours upon the kiln, and the fire begins to have effect, a great number of very small worms, formerly undiscovered by the eye, begin to appear, and are soon destroyed by the heat. These he apprehends come from blackened wheat, or other corns which could not be suspected to be indifferent; or may lie in or on good wheat; which worms continuing (when not thus killed), might consume the corn after it is thrown into the earth; thereby checking the growth entirely, or preventing it from having the strength it otherwise would have, to bring forth a strong productive stalk."

Mr Walker of Falkirk's method, which he has long practised with uniform success, has been mentioned elsewhere. He always sows the wheat of the preceding year, and is never troubled with any disease in his grain.

There is not much attention paid to the sorts of wheat that are sown, though farmers are anxious to procure seed that is good of its kind. Spring wheat has been tried with success. In 1811 fifteen acres were on the Harviestown estate with spring wheat, in April and May, and reaped in September. The produce was 8 bolls per acre; and the weight 64 lbs. per bushel.

The general period of reaping wheat is from the first week of August till the middle of September.

The produce in this district is stated as follows:-

Per Scots Acre Per English Acre
Bolls, Standard Measure Qrs Bush.Stat Meas.
14, (a great crop) corresponding to  5 5
12, (a great crop) corresponding to  4 6.5
10 (a good crop) corresponding to  4 0
9 (medium on carse soils) 3 5
9.5 (medium on carse soils) 3 6.5
8 (on inferior soils) 3 1.5

The greatest weight observed is stated at 64 lbs. avoirdupois per bushel, equal to about 14 stones 14 lbs. Dutch.
The least at 54 and a quarter lbs. per bushel, equal to 12 stones 14 lbs. Dutch.
The medium weight of several years may be taken at 58 lbs. per bushel.
With respect to the remaining articles in this section, there occurs nothing which appears to be peculiar to this county. At the end of Sect. ix. a few general remarks will be offered on the processes of reaping, harvesting, etc.


No instance of the cultivation this grain occurs in the county.

SECTION VI. - Barley.

THE Scots barley is generally used on rich soil. English barley has been sown, but has not been found to answer better than the Scots. On poor soils, bear or big, i.e. the four rowed barley, is found to be the surest and most productive crop, which fully compensates the difference of price, which may run from two to three shillings per boll.

A gentleman, who farms a part of his own, estate in a very improved style, sowed in Autumn 1793 common bear upon a complete fallow, at the same time that he sowed some winter, or six rowed barley. The bear was the earliest ripe; some of it was cut down on the last day of the succeeding June. It yielded 7 bolls per acre: the Winter bear yielded about 9 bolls.

Barley is sown from the 1st to the 20th of May. Bear is sown on the high grounds, and on inferior soils, as late as the first week of June.

The quantity of seed given is from 2 and a half to 3 firlots Stirlingshire measure per Scots acre, corresponding to 3 bushels, and 3 bushels 4 pecks, Winchester measure, per English acre.

When grass-seeds are sown with barley, only 2 firlots per Scots acre are given. Barley is reaped from the middle of September to the middle of October.

The produce varies from 6 bolls to 10 bolls Stirlingshire measure; the medium on carse lands is 7 and a half bolls. The weight varies from 15 to 18 stones Dutch weight per boll, equal to and 40 and a quarter lbs. avoirdupois, per bushel.


THE kinds of oats most commonly used in this district are the Blainslie and Cupar-Angus. The red oat, potatoe, and Flemish oats, are also used.

Every good farmer changes his seed frequently, by which his produce is considerably increased.

Oats are sown from the beginning of March to the end of April, and reaped from the first of September to the middle of October; but in the high grounds sometimes till the end of that month.

The quantity of seed given to the Scots acre is from 3 and a half firlots to 1 boll Stirlingshire measure, equal nearly to 4 bushels 1 peck l and a half gallons, and 5 bushels Winchester measure, per English acre.

The produce varies from 5 bolls to 16 per Scots acre: 7 and a half bolls is considered as the medium on carse soils; 9 bolls are reckoned a good crop.

The weight of the oats from the best cultivated lands is from 14 to 15 stones Dutch weight per boll. On some inferior and ill cultivated soil, it sometimes does not exceed 11 stones.

One boll of potatoe oats, raised on Lorne's Hill farm, yielded 18 pecks of meal, Linlithgowshire measure.

SECTION VIII & IX. - Pease and Beans.

THE grey pea is generally used. The horse bean is commonly sown. They are usually sown together, but the proportions of each vary according to the soil. On the rich carse land the proportion of pease is very small; whilst, on the less fertile soils, the beans bear small proportion to the pease. With regard to the proportion of seed of pease and beans, it may be stated at 1 peck of pease to 2 pecks of beans in strong land: on lighter soils, 2 pecks of pease to 1 peck of beans. One firlot of pease and 5 firlots of beans are said to sow as much land as 7 firlots of clean beans. Sometimes beans alone are sown in drills, and horse-hoed; but, from variableness of the seasons, which frequently renders horse-hoeing impracticable in these soils, and hand-hoeing being difficult and expensive, this practice is not very common. Pease and beans are commonly sown from the middle of February till the end of March. The quantity of seed given is from 1 boll 2 firlots, Stirlingshire measure, per Scots acre; equal nearly to 5 bushels, and 5 bushels 2 pecks, Winchester measure, per English acre.

The reaping takes place for the most part in October.

The produce varies as follows:-
Ten bolls (Stirlingshire measure), equal nearly to 4 qrs. 2 bushels 3 pecks, Winchester measure, are justly considered as a great crop. Eight bolls are considered a good crop; on carse soil 7 bolls are the general average; 3 bolls per acre is a bad crop.

In 1811, beans sold from 15s. to 22s. In some years previous to that period, they have sold from 24s. to 30s. and upwards.

Operations of Harvest.

Having thus attempted to give a detail of the grains: usually cultivated in this county, together with the usual periods of sowing and of reaping, with the quantity of seed sown, and of grain produced, it is not considered as necessary to enter into a minute account of operations of stacking, thrashing, manufacturing, etc. In these nothing occurs which can be considered as new, or peculiar to Clackmannanshire.

With regard to the stacking of grain, however, the Reporter has to remark, that he has no where observed such complete provision made for the security of the stacks from vermin. They are placed; on the greatest part of Mr Erskine's farms, on frames of wood supported by pedestals of cast-iron, generally four feet in height: a wooden frame in a pyramidal form is superadded, by which a current of air is admitted into the body of the stack, which effectually prevents all danger from heating, even though the grain should be carried in without being sufficiently dry.

In reaping, the common sickle with saw teeth is still generally used: the scythe sickle, of a broader blade, and without teeth, (no doubt a great improvement), is fast advancing into use. In the Stirlingshire Report, the author of these pages had taken occasion to remark, that "it would be perhaps the most important acquisition to agricultural operations that has been made for a long while, if an instrument were invented by which corns could be cut down, and at the same time gathered into sheaves, as hay is cut down by the scythe."

He has now the happiness of laying before the public, for the first time, that it has been stated in an Agricultural Report, under the sanction of the Honourable Board, to which Britain owes so much, the account of a machine for this purpose, invented by an esteemed friend and neighbour; and which fairly promises to prove a counterpart to the inventions of Mr Meikle.

The following accounts of the first public trial that has been made of this important invention, the one extracted from the Edinburgh Correspondent of the 26th September 1812; and the other from the Edinburgh Star of October 3d 1812, deserve to be recorded.


From the Edinburgh Correspondent, 26th September 1812.

Yesterday the Committee of the Dalkeith Farming Club, and a numerous concourse of spectators, assembled at the farm of Smeaton, near Dalkeith, to witness the competition for the premium of L.500, offered by the Club to any inventor of a reaping-machine, capable of cutting down two acres of corn in the period of five hours, with one or two horses and two men Several competitors were expected; but only one appeared, Mr Smith of the Deanston Works, near Doune, Perthshire, who exhibited a machine of great elegance and simplicity, impelled by one horse moving behind, while the action of the axle puts in rapid motion at the opposite end of the machine a drum with a circular cutter affixed to it. By the movement of the drum, the cut grain is laid in row; and the machine is so constructed that the drum can, at pleasure, revolve towards the one or other side, so as, both in going and returning along the ridge, to throw the grain to the open side of the field.

The machine possesses great force, cutting a breadth of four feet at a time. The cutter can at pleasure be placed nearer to or farther from the ground; and, on a smooth and level field, it can be made to cut at any degree of closeness to the ground that may be desired.

The trial was certainly made under circumstances of disadvantage. The ground was an irregular field on a hanging bank, with short ridges highly gathered up. On ground of considerable acclivity the machine will require two horses; and Mr Smith, in constructing his next machine, should certainly attend to this circumstance. As the present machine had only the power of one horse applied, it would have gratified the spectators, and given the machine a fairer trial, if the ground had been nearly level; and they felt a considerable degree of disappointment that the trial had been so short, because it was evident that work was better done at the conclusion than at the beginning, the horse having become better acquainted with the ground, and consequently moving more steadily. In moving on those parts of the field which were nearly level, the work of cutting was done most perfectly.

The laying of the corn, though remarkably well for a first essay, will still admit of improvement. It were desirable that it should be laid at a right angle to the line of cutting, which would facilitate the gathering, and also the thrashing of the corn. The corn was laid at an angle of about 45 degrees to the line of cutting; and positive proof was given that, by attentive gathering, even at this angle the sheaf Could be made as perfect as it generally is when corns are cut by the sickle. But whilst we state this as an objection in our opinion to the machine as it was exhibited, we have no doubt that the ingenuity of Mr Smith will supply the defect. The machine was certainly more perfect than any person expected to see. It does the inventor great credit, the public having been long sceptical as to the possibility of inventing a reaping-machine, which could ever be generally useful. It is our decided opinion that Mr Smith is now in a fair way, the principle being discovered, to confer such a national benefit as falls to the lot of very few to bestow.

The public are much indebted to the patriotism of the Dalkeith Farming Club for inciting mechanical genius by the offer of this liberal premium, which will go far to prevent any reproach from being brought against the present generation, that they should reap the profit of so important an agricultural implement, without rewarding the ingenuity of the gentleman who discovered it. And while we wish not by any means to discourage the exertions of other mechanical gentlemen who may have turned their attention to the constructing of a reaping-machine, yet we have no doubt but the names of Meikle and Smith will be recorded as two of the greatest benefactors to agricultural improvement which this or any other country has produced.

From the Edinburgh Star, October 3d, 1812.

On Friday the 25th ult. a very numerous concourse of spectators assembled on Mr Mylne's farm of Smeaton, the place appointed for awarding the premium of L.500 offered for a reaping-machine of certain powers, by the members of the Dalkeith Monthly Farming Club.

The only mechanical contrivance brought forward on the occasion was the invention of Mr Smith, overseer of the cotton works at Deanston, near Doune, in Monteith, a very ingenious gentleman, to whom the county is indebted for some valuable improvements in spinning machinery. The instrument is constructed on the principle of a revolving circular scythe, attached to and surmounted by a drum or cylinder, which of course revolves with it on same axis. The whole is pushed forward among the standing corn, by a horse yoked to two shafts placed behind, by which means he is prevented from trampling among the corn. The mechanism by which the cylinder is put in motion is extremely simple, compact, and strong: in its construction the resources of Mr Smith's genius are eminently conspicuous. The machine, it is reckoned, could be constructed for about L.20.

At the same tine, we must admit that there are defects in the machine which must be remedied, and we dare say most of them might be remedied without much difficulty. The most prominent of these are the great length of time consumed in putting it about, and the awkward motions which the horse must submit to, in turning on his instead of his hind legs; though probably a little training would render this by no means difficult. The corn, too, is laid down at too great an angle with the line swath, (about 160 or 170 degrees) which renders it more difficult to be collected into regular sheaves.

Upon the whole, it could not fail to be deeply impressed on the minds of all present, that though on this occasion Mr Smith might not perhaps be entitled to the premium, (the conditions of the advertisement not having been complied with) there could be little doubt that if the respectable Club, who had the merit of originating this project, should continue to hold out the same for another season, Mr Smith will in all likelihood carry the prize, which his talents and his exertions so justly merit. Of course the members of the Dalkeith Club are great deal too liberal to draw back now that there is the most flattering prospect of attaining the great object of their wishes; if they were to do it could not fail to be ascribed to a sordid motive. If Mr Smith has not absolutely touched, he has at least arrived within a hair's breadth of the goal: and every liberal mind will agree that he ought not to go without his reward.

In justice to one at least of the ingenious gentlemen, by whom was constructed a model formerly presented to the Club, it ought to be mentioned that in point of principle, his machine entirely agrees with that of Mr Smith; though we have not even the slightest suspicion that the latter gentleman is indebted to the others for his discovery. We believe that this model was supposed to be defective, in making no provision (or but an imperfect one) for collecting the corn when cut into a regular swath. Mr Smith's experiment, however, has proved that this was by no means necessary, the cylinder or drum most completely performing this function without any assistance. How careful ought we to be in determining, a priore, the merits or defects of any mechanical contrivance! Where the ultimate effect depends on a combination of so many circumstances, experiment alone should be called in to determine the result.

Like every thing new, the reaping-machine may be supposed to have had its opponents; and many have been the predictions, that to expect such a discovery was altogether chimerical and absurd. On this occasion we thought we could discover in the countenances of not a few of the spectators something like a contemptuous sneer whilst Smith was employed in putting together the different parts of the machine. Such persons were no doubt enjoying in idea the triumph of a complete failure. We dare say a great number of these wiseacres came more to enjoy a hearty laugh than from any other motive. No sooner, however, was the machine put in motion than the rueful and lengthened countenance displayed by these gentlemen portrayed most forcibly, though it must be confessed rather ludicrously, their disappointed hopes and predictions.

The Dalkeith Farmer Club has not yet had it in its power to decide whether Mr Smith is to obtain their offered prize. It is to be hoped that, with the improvements which he is now adding, he will carry it by the next harvest. He has entered a caveat in the patent office.

SECTION X. - Tares.

Tares are sown to no great extent. They are cultivated principally for the purpose of soiling. Like all the other vegetables of the papilionaceous tribe, they tend to cleanse and ameliorate the soil: They furnish an excellent food for milch cows in the interval between the first and second clover crops. They are cut for that purpose about the period when the seed is nearly formed. When the seed is to be preserved, which is often done, it must be allowed to ripen. Tares are usually sown among beans which serve to support them; when thrashed they are separated from the beans, and sold by themselves; they bring a higher price than pease or beans.

SECTION XI. & XII. - Lentils and Duck-Wheat.

These are almost entirely unknown in the agriculture of Clackmannanshire.

SECTION XIII. - Turnips.

A great proportion of this county is considered as unfavourable to turnip husbandry, the grounds being a rich clay, and the higher grounds having a subsoil of cold till. In both these kinds of soil it is reckoned that the damage done by poaching the ground, in taking off the crop, overbalances any advantage which could be derived from the cultivation of this useful plant, so beneficial to agriculture in more favourable soils.

Perhaps, however, this disadvantage might be obviated in a great measure, even in these soils, by stacking the turnips in the end of autumn, and immediately throwing the ground into ridges. An ingenious method is employed by Mr Erskine's overseer, of which the Reporter hopes to be able to give a particular account in the Appendix. It consists, as far as he now recollects, from the account given in  conversation, in taking the drills alternately, and immediately setting up the drill which had been pulled, in ridges.

The fine loamy soil of the vale of Dovan is well calculated for the turnip husbandry; and there, accordingly, they are cultivated to a very considerable extent.

The seed used is the yellow, the white, or the red, and very commonly the three kinds are mixed. In order that the plant may arrive at its utmost perfection in the proper season, the time of sowing must be attended to; it is from the 15th of June the 10th of July.

With regard to the vegetables enumerated in sections xiv. & xv; viz. cole-seed, or rape, and cabbages, almost no instance occurs in which they have been cultivated to any extent in this county.

SECTION XVI. - Ruta Baga, or Swedes.

Swedes are cultivated on loamy and arenaceous soils to a considerable extent. In 1811 four acres were sown on the Harvieston estate, in the beginning of May. In point of weight, the crop was considered as to common turnip, but it goes farther in feeding. By some agriculturists in this district, an acre of Swedes is considered as double the value of common turnip.

The articles enumerated in sections xvii. xviii. & xix. are not cultivated.

SECTION XX. - Carrots.

CARROTS are cultivated successfully in some instances on favourable soils. This plant requires a deep loam; it will not succeed in a clay soil, or on a tilly subsoil.

On the estate of Harvieston two acres were sown with carrot in March, or as early as the season permitted. The seed was of the sort called the orange carrot. The seed is mixed with moist earth for 14 or 21 days before sowing. The soil is well pulverised, and raised into drills about 15 inches distant. It must have been richly dunged the preceding year with a crop of potatoes or turnip, and no new dung applied. The expence of an acre of carrots is estimated at L.25, the produce is about 18 tons, worth L.5 per ton.

Parsnips and Beets, the subjects of sect. xxi. & xxii. occur only in kitchen gardens. From their great abundance in saccharine matter, it is probable that these roots might be advantageously applied to many economical purposes; and in this view it would seem that they deserve to be more attended to.

SECTION XXIII. - Potatoes.

THIS most valuable root has been long introduced, and is extensively cultivated in this county.

It is always planted in drills at 2 and a half or 3 feet, except in some that cottagers and small  occupants plant by dibbling, which they consider as the most economical use of the ground. The ground is prepared beforehand by several ploughings, one of which is generally a cross ploughing. The dung is sometimes laid in the drills, which produces the most abundant crop; but it is more commonly spread on the ground, by which it is more equally distributed, and produces a drier and more savoury potatoe.

The manure that is considered most proper for potatoes is long dung, which preserves the soil in an open and porous state. The red potatoe is most commonly planted for family use: the white, both round and flat, is reckoned the most prolific, is accordingly planted for the most part for feeding cattle.

Potatoes, when set in drills, which is the universal practice when they are cultivated upon an extensive scale, are always horse-hoed at least three times during the season: but previous to the first horse-hoeing, which serves principally to take the earth from the rows, a hand-hoeing is given to destroy the weeds. Care is taken to do this in dry weather, when the weeds speedily wither.

There is a practice, however, which prevails very extensively in this county, of letting out ground to the inhabitants of the adjacent villages for planting potatoes (which shall immediately be detailed). In many instances the villager, who is generally a mechanic, occupies only a few drills: in these cases he always dresses up his drills by hand-hoeing. It is interesting to see a man, who had been fixed down for several hours during a hot summer's day to the loom or to the last, employed in a morning or in an evening, with his little family in gaining health by hand-hoeing a drill of potatoes.

without enlarging on the various articles in the plan of the Honourable Board in regard to this important vegetable, from the consideration that nothing occurs which merits to be recorded as peculiar to this country, the Reporter proceeds to the promised mention of the occupancy of potatoe ground by the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages.

In this county the villages are frequent and populous. The inhabitants, being for the most part engaged in mechanical employments, do not occupy land beyond the extent of a small garden; and in the large town of Alloa there are few who even possess a garden.

From this circumstance, it is the almost universal practice of the villagers of Alloa, Clackmannan, Dollar, Tillycoultry, and Menstrie, to rent from the adjacent farmers a certain space of ground for planting potatoes.

The Rev. Dr Moodie of Clackmannan lets land for planting potatoes to the villagers at L.3 per acre; they furnishing the dung; and he leading it, and working the ground.

Mr Kerr, Mr Erskine's tenant of: Lornes-hill, generally lets from 18 to 20 acres in this way to the villagers of Alloa in his immediate neighbourhood. They are bound to lay on 45 carts of dung per acre. The produce has been from 55 bolls (or 8 and a half tons) to 65 bolls (or 10 tons) per acre.

It may be added, that Mr Kerr generally follows this crop of potatoes with wheat, though not always a sure crop, this depending on the season.

The best average produce of potatoes in this district is from 70 to 80 bolls. One instance occurred of 100 bolls, or 20 tons.

SECTION XXIV. & XXVI. - Clover and Ray-grass, or Rye-grass.

The introduction of cultivated grasses may be considered as one of the most important improvements in the practice of modern husbandry. These are cultivated in this county to a very considerable extent. Indeed, a grass crop forms a part of the rotation on every farm.

The grasses generally sown are clover seed, white, red, and yellow mixed, together with rye-grass.

The proportions of these seeds for the Scots acre are commonly as follows:-

Clover Red, 4 lbs.
Clover White, 6 lbs.
Clover Yellow, 2 lbs.
Rye-grass, from one bushel to one and a half.

There are at the same time 2 lbs. of rib-grass (plantago lanceolata) sown, especially if it is intended to pasture the field the year after the hay crop is taken off. In this case, too, a greater proportion of clover is given to the acre: sometimes from 14 to 18 lbs. with one bushel of rye-grass.

The crops with which these grass-seeds are sown are, as will be seen from the preceding tables of rotations, wheat, barley; and potatoe oats, all of which have received a dose of manure for that season.

The period of sowing grass-seeds is from the beginning to the middle of May.

A small portion of the first crop is sometimes used for soiling; in general, however, it is all made into hay. The whole of the second crop, which in a few weeks succeeds the first, and consists chiefly of clover alone, is used for soiling; though it is in some instances, after receiving a half drying in the field, mixed up in ricks along with straw, to it gives succulence, and makes tolerable fodder for cattle.

With regard to the rye-grass, the seed is either annual or perennial. The former is that which is to be found most commonly in the shops, and is often passed on the purchaser for the perennial, from which it cannot be distinguished in the state of seed. Perhaps, however, this is not to be considered as a disadvantage. If the land is to be ploughed down the following year for another crop, to what purpose should perennial seed be sown? If it is to be pastured, the natural grasses of the soil, which in wet situations spring up spontaneously, (particularly the holcus lanatus et mollis) form the most grateful pasture for cattle.

The hay harvest is generally begun about the last week of June. It is certainly a very erroneous practice to defer it, as is done by some farmers, till the middle or end of July. The seed has by that time become fully ripe, and falls off in the handling, which diminishes both the weight and nutritive quality of the hay. When it is cut early the seed remains.

The following crops of hay have occurred in this county:-

Per Scots Acre Per English Acre
Stones, Hay Weight* Tons. Cwt.
400 (a very extraordinary crop) nearly equal to 3 11
350 (a great crop) 3 2
300 (a great crop) 2 13
250 (the medium on carse lands) 2 2
180 (the medium on lighter soil) 1 12
100 (a bad crop) 0 18


* A stone, Hay weight, contains 16 lbs. 22 ounces to the pound.

The price of hay varies extremely according to the produce of the year. It was sold from 8d. to 20d. per stone within these few years.

With regard to the question, "Is the land tired of clover?" the answer may be given in the affirmative. The chemical principles upon which this circumstance depends, and on which it may be obviated, are detailed in the Stirlingshire Report, to which the reader is referred.

The vegetables enumerated in-this chapter, from section xxvii. to section xxxii. inclusive, are not cultivated in this county.

With regard to flax, the subject of section xxxiii. in the plan of the Board, it is only cultivated on a small scale, a few farmers sowing a little for the use of their families.

The articles that follow to the end of the chapter are unknown in the agriculture of Clackmannanshire.


SECTION I. - Meadows.

There are no lands in this county which fall under the character of natural meadows, whether lying low on rivers or upland; the whole southern district from the base of the Ochills being under culture, and the Ochills themselves occupied principally as sheep pasture.

SECTION II. - Pastures.

1. Rich feeding land. - A considerable quantity of land of excellent quality is occupied in pasture, especially in the neighbourhood of villages, for milch cows, and also for fattening cattle for the butcher. A crop of hay from sown grass had been taken off these lands the preceding year; and they are held under pasture for one, two, or three succeeding years. They are let from L.4 to L.6 per acre; there are instances of an acre of sown grass letting at L.12.

Cattle are fattened on these pastures, which at 3 years old weigh from 28 to 36 stones.

It is the remark of an intelligent agriculturist, that the elevated lands which are situated in the middle region of this county, and which almost universally lie upon a tilly bottom, should never be left in grass above one or two years; the sub-soil being so retentive that the grass does not thrive to fatten cattle.

2. Dairy grounds. - Though no lands are better adapted for the dairy than those which have been described in the above article, it does not appear that the dairy is much attended to in this county. In the Report of the adjacent county of Kinross, a very circumstantial account is recorded of the remarkable produce of a single cow for a series of years. No document of this kind has occurred to the Reporter of this county; though, from the superiority of its soil, it certainly could produce instances of at least equal productiveness.

3. Sheep pasture. - The whole range of the Ochills, as has been already stated forms beyond question one of the finest sheep walks that occurs in Scotland: and it is accordingly occupied from the uppermost verge of the arable slip at the base of the mountain almost exclusively in pasturing sheep. The rent, as reported to have been estimated by Dr Coventry, who is intimately acquainted with this district, is reckoned at 5s. per acre.

That the scientific reader may be enabled to form a more adequate idea of the excellent quality of the sheep pastures of the Ochills, he is referred to a list of the native vegetables which constitute the principal part of the herbage, inserted in the Stirlingshire Report. In constructing that list, whilst the Lennox Hill pastures were kept principally in view, an excursion amongst the Ochills immediately above Bairlogie, in this county, confirms the application of the list to this district.

4. Laying land to grass. - The rotation in which grass-seeds are taken in, as a constituent part of it; has been already detailed. They are generally sown with wheat, with barley, or potatoe oats. It is to be understood that with these crops a proper dose of manure, either dung or lime, or a mixture of each, has been given. The seeds sown, and their different proportions, have been also stated. A crop of hay is taken the first year, and the land is pastured for one or more years, as circumstances may suggest; in the rich carses of this county the land is too valuable to be permitted to lie long in grass. It is generally broken up after one crop of hay has been taken.

The practice mentioned as so common in the carses of Stirlingshire, is also sometimes adopted here, "of ploughing down the second crop of clover when it is luxuriant, and taking a crop of wheat." It has been observed by an intelligent farmer, that wheat sown by this method is apt to be infested with snails upon its appearance above the ground.

5. Breaking up grass lands. - Nothing that is peculiar to this county occurs in this respect. Paring and burning is considered here, as in Stirlingshire, as a most unprofitable practice. The first crop which is generally taken after breaking up grass lands is oats. No instance occurs of letting land "for permission" to break it up from grass. There is reason to believe, however, that did such an instance take place, a rent from L.8 to L.13 per acre might be obtained from old grass lands of a favourable soil.


SECTION I. - Gardens.

On the subject of this section nothing occurs in this county which requires particular notice. The gardens of the great farmers, and of the inhabitants of the villages, produce all the kinds of pot herbs, which are usually cultivated in great abundance, and of the best quality. The cultivation of them is attended to with all that care which might be expected in a district far advanced in agricultural and manufacturing improvement.

SECTION II. - Orchards.

Neither does anything peculiar to this county occur on the subject of orchards. In the Stirlingshire Report it was noticed, "that horticulture appears to have been much attended to in this neighbourhood before the Reformation." The monks of Cambuskenneth had numerous and flourishing orchards in the carses of Bothkennar and Falkirk. They no doubt had many also in the still richer carses of Clackmannanshire, which were more commodiously situated in regard to the Abbey. "No soil" it is observed, "seems to be more favourable to fruit trees than the cares." Orchards in the Stirlingshire carses may be estimated to bring from L.50 to L.100 per acre. There is no doubt that the rich carses of this county, as well as the fine loam of the vale of Dovan would be found equally favourable for orchards. There is not much attention paid however to horticulture: the district whose subsoil is tilly is unfavourable. Small fruit, as gooseberries, currants, and raspberries, thrive well everywhere.


SECTION I. - Copse Woods.

The natural woods, or copse woods, of this county are of no great extent, not exceeding in all 500 Scots acres. Till of late, when the value of oak bark has become so considerable, these woods were much neglected. They were ill fenced at first, and little attention afterwards paid to thinning and weeding. These matters are now better understood, and better managed.

The largest oak wood in this county is on the estate of Tillybody, being nearly of 100 acres. In this district there is a barony, which goes by the name of the Forest of Clackmannan, though, in the space of 1800 Scots acres of ground, there is not a tree which can be denominated timber. There is indeed a copse of about 5 acres, which has long been much neglected. There are about 500 acres of this land which could not be more advantageously employed than in planting. It appears probable, from the name, that this whole track of ground was at some former period actually covered with wood. There are several acres of thriving copse wood about Castle Campbell.

The period of cutting these copse woods, which consist chiefly of oak, varies from 25. to SO years.

SECTION II. - Plantations.

Plantations of various sorts of timber, chiefly of oak, ash, sycamore, beech, larch, Scots fir, have been carried on for many years in this county with great spirit.

About the beginning of the last century the Earl of Mar was at great pains in embellishing his seat at Alloa. He Was considered by his contemporaries as the great promoter of ornamental planting. All his trees throve remarkably; and many have attained to a good size, though nothing to what they would probably have arrived at, had not the misfortunes of the family prevented them from attending to the thinning of the trees in proper time.

During the American war the trees were thinned for a second time, and oaks of 6 or 7 feet in circumference were sold for 8s. 4 and a half pence per cubical foot as they stood, the purchaser being at the expence of taking them out by the roots. There is still a prodigious number of well grown and beautiful trees in the lawn at Alloa.

About the year 1730, Mr Abercromby of Tillybody enclosed 158 Scots acres of very indifferent land, which he planted mostly with firs. The rent of the whole had been only L.40 Scots, or L3. 6s. 8d. sterling. His son, within the space of 40 years, began cutting them. It was 12 years before the whole were disposed of. The wood brought L.60 per acre on an average, which was unquestionably the most advantageous manner of employing the ground. The inclosure has been replanted with oaks that are now thriving well.

It is not easy to calculate with precision the number of acres in this county that is occupied with plantations. It may be estimated by an approximation at 2000 acres. "It is to be hoped," to use the words of Mr Erskine, "that the spirit of improvement in this respect will continue, and the promoters of it, or their descendants, will meet with a full reward for their labours."

With regard to remarkable trees, many occur in this county which are deserving of notice. Several such occur in the lawn of Alloa, particularly a black poplar which has already been mentioned.

Near the house of Tillybody there is an oak about 14 feet in circumference, with a fine spreading top; the stem is of 10 feet.
In the lawn at Shaw-Park are two cedars of Lebanon. The Reporter found their dimensions, at one foot from the ground; to be 

1st, 6 feet 7 inches; the height about 40 feet.
2d, 4 feet 4 inches ; the height about 45 feet.


If by wastes it be intended to designate lands totally unproductive, unfit for every agricultural purpose, the Reporter finds none in this county which come under this description. Even the most rugged precipices the Ochills furnish sheep pasture, which upon an average, as has been stated, is valued at 5 shillings per acre.

If again by wastes be meant commons, or lands of which no individual claims the exclusive property, but of which a number of adjacent proprietors claim the common use, it may be observed that such did till lately exist in this county, but are now happily abolished. Wherever pasture lands are held in common they are always over-stocked; where arable lands are held in run-rig, as was often the case in the vicinity of the villages, they were ill cultivated, and the cause of numberless dissensions among the occupants.

By the law for dividing commons, it is enacted, "That when several heritors have a joint interest in any common, any one of them has the privilege of bringing a suit before the Court of Session for having it divided among those concerned, according to the nature and extent of the possession each heritor has had." The same process is allowed where lands lie in run-rig or run-dale, that is, interspersed with each other. Such law-suits often turn out very tedious and expensive.

Some years ago certain heritors in this county, who had an interest in a common, adopted a judicious scheme, by which these inconveniencies were avoided. The late Sir Laurence Dundas, Lord Kennet, and about 50 others, who had an interest in a common called Pilmuir, entered into a submission to have their respective claims amicably adjusted by arbiters. The award of the arbiters, when pronounced, was produced in the Court of Session, and, by the consent of parties, made part of the decree. Thus, a great deal of litigation, delay, and expence was avoided, and the division effected to the satisfaction of all concerned. The extent of the common was 87 Scots acres; the whole expence did not exceed L.67.

A great part of the Ochills, in the parish of Tillycoultry, was formerly a common consisting of nearly 3000 acres. The feuars of the easter town had an unlimited right of sending sheep to the hill. Those of the wester town were limited to 100 sheep for each feu of two fortieth parts of the land originally feued at the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century; and this feu consisted of 30 or 40 acres according to the quality of the ground.

The process of division began in 1769; and in 1774 was withdrawn and referred to arbiters. The estate having passed into other hands since the division was made, the expence cannot be easily ascertained.

There were eight feus of the mains of Dollar, the lands of which were run-rig. A process of division was brought before the Sheriff; in 1776 a measurement was made, and the several parcels valued. The number of acres was found to be rather more than 316, and their value, at that period, to be upwards of L.236. Though the expence of the process cannot now be clearly ascertained, there is good reason to believe that it did not exceed L.200. The best feu was valued at nearly one guinea per acre; the worst at 11s. 7d. the average value at 18s. ld. per acre. Before the division, one of these feus, probably tbe worst of them, consisting of 45 and a half Scots acres, brought the proprietor only L.5 a-year. In 1795, by the testimony of Mr Erskine, it was let at L.26; and there is no doubt that it would now let at much more; a manifest proof of the incalculable benefits of abolishing run-rig and commons.

"About 1780," he adds, "one of these feus was purchased for L.360 ; in 1793 it was sold for L.800, being about 30 years purchase of the rent.

In the year 1793, another of these feus was sold for L.1150, which was about 50 years purchase of what it would then let at."

There are no bogs, fens, marshes, or forests, in this county which deserve notice.


Every kind of improvement has advanced in this county with a rapid pace for the last thirty or forty years. Mr Erskine of Mar, one of the most extensive proprietors in the district, has been, during the greatest part of that period, indefatigable in improving his estate of Alloa; and his exertions have been guided by a complete intelligence of every subject connected with rural affairs. His estate, which he found almost in a state of nature, exhibits now, throughout its whole extent, the most complete idea of what has been called a Ferme ornee [ornamental farm]. The farms are laid out in the most judicious manner; the farm-houses and offices conveniently situated; subdivisions suitably arranged; and the clumps of planting properly introduced. Mr Erskine has conducted the process of his improvements by a singular mode. Instead of beginning near his residence, he began to improve the farms that are situated on the outskirts of his estate; till, gradually contracting the circle, as means and opportunity permitted, he has at length, in a long course of years, had the satisfaction of completing his idea, by carrying his improvements to the very centre of his property. It is a noble and elevated feeling for a proprietor to look around him upon a district which formerly exhibited the squalid appearance of poverty and neglect, but which now smiles in all the beauties of culture and wealth. It appears a creation of his own; and must yield a delight to the liberal mind infinitely superior, to the ruinous pleasures of the disarpated and gay.

SECTION I. - Draining.

The improvement of draining is nowhere more necessary than in the elevated district which runs through the middle of the county; it lies almost entirely on a tilly impervious bottom; but, at the same time, there is no soil in which this operation is to be performed with greater difficulty and expence. In a compact tilly soil, the influence of the cut or drain extends only to a very small distance on every side. The cuts, therefore, must be frequent, and communicate with each other by numerous turns.

Draining is practised to a considerable extent in this county. In the years 1810 and 1811, 40 acres were drained on the estate of Harvieston.

Elkington's method is understood and applied. But as nothing occurs that is peculiar to the practice of the county in this respect, it is considered as unnecessary to enter into a further detail.

SECTION II. - Paring and Burning.

No instance of the practice of operation occurs. Though an expensive operation, it may be of service in the heathy heights upon the rising grounds to the south of the village of Dollar.

SECTION III. - Manuring

THE manures used in this county may be distinguished, as in the Stirlingshire Report, into Calcareous and Putrefactive. An attempt having been made in that work to state the philosophy of the operation of these manures, it is now only necessary to give an account of their application in this adjacent district.

1. Calcareous Manures.

Marl. — It has been stated already, that on the farm called Mains of Dollar, to the south-west of the village, pits of clay marl have been found, which are wrought to a considerable extent. The quantity applied is from 200 to 300 small cart loads.

Lime - No limestone quarry is now wrought within the limits of this county, that in the hill above Menstrie having been for some time ago abandoned. Though there is a valuable limestone quarry in the parish of Muckhart, about two miles from the village of Dollar, it has not been much wrought of late.

The limestone most generally used, as has been observed before, is that which is procured from lord Elgin's works, in the parish of Culross, or that which is imported from Dunbar the very superior quality of which is considered as affording more than a sufficient compensation for the of the distance of the carriage.

Coal being so abundant in Clackmannanshire, the limestone is, in almost every instance, imported in its uncalcified state, and landed in some of the small creeks of the Forth: though sometimes, when the farmer is much hurried, buys the lime in shells. The increase of price is compensated by the expedition of the process. When the uncalcined limestone is imported, the farmers burn it in what is called clamp-kilns, which are built round or oblong with sods and earth, and situated upon or near the fields that are to be manured. This, however, is reckoned an expensive and unthrifty manner of burning lime. There are several large lime-kilns, upon an excellent construction, erected upon the shore of Alloa, and upon the banks of the Forth, near the Abbott's Craig.

"A cargo of limestone, of 60 carts," says Mr Erskine, "each cart weighing 8 cwt. could have been delivered (a few years ago, i.e. prior to 1795) at any of the creeks for something less than 11 and a half pence per cart, all expences included. This quantity, when burnt in a draw-kiln, took about 15 carts of small coal, each cart weighing about 6 cwt. and the price of the coal being 8d. at the coal-hill. This quantity of limestone, when burnt, yields about 185 bolls of riddled lime; so that it cost about 6d. per boll. When brought up by water in shells, it cost about 7d. per boll. The present price of lime-shells at Lord Elgin's works is 1s. 6d. per boll, (which is nearly equal to 4 Winchester bushels). It is put on board at that price free of expence to the purchaser. From this price there is a deduction of 10 per cent. given for ready money. The freight to the landing places on the coast is 6d. per boll. The expence of landing and other dues is about 10 per cent. on the prime cost.

From these data the reader will be enabled to judge of the rise of the price of lime within these last 20 or 24 years. The Dunbar lime, every Circumstance being considered, is nearly of the same price with Lord Elgin's, It it indeed considered as the cheapest. It is reckoned that 80 bolls of shells of the Dunbar lime will yield 160 bolls of slacked. The quantity of lime given to the Scotch acre varies according to the soil. On light and arenaceous soils from 60 to 120 bolls are given. On strong carse soils 200 bolls are not found to be too much.

Of the other articles enumerated under this section, in the plan of the board, none are used as manures in this county, upon such a scale as to require a detail, until We come to article 21st, which brings us to consider,

2. Putrefactive Manures.

On this part of the subject it is unnecessary to enlarge. Upon all the farms which the Reporter had an opportunity of seeing, particularly Mr Erskine's of King of Muirs and Lorne's Hill, the farm-yard is managed according to the most improved principles. The square, formed by the farmer's dwelling of two stories upon east, the feeding house of one story upon the north, cart and sheds upon the west, the barn and thrashing-mill, stables, and their various appurtenances, upon the south, incloses, with the necessary gateways, the farm-yard. The inclosure forming the farm-yard is paved with stones in the manner of a street, sloping from every side towards the middle, so as to preserve the urine of the cattle, which contributes materially to the increase of putrefactive manure; The southern boundary of the farm-yard is inclosed with a low wall, just sufficient to confine the cattle that are fed in it. Between that wall and the southern range of building, a paved space of about 20 feet intervenes, like a street with a gateway at each end, for the entrance and exit of the waggons which convey the crop.

In these farm or straw-yards, as they have sometimes been called, dung of very superior quality is always produced. Nothing that can contribute to the fertilization of the soil is lost. The straw and offals with which the cattle in the straw-yard are fed, is either consumed by them, or added to the manure. The cattle themselves rendered comfortable in sheds arranged along the sides of the square, to protect them from the weather.

In regard to the application of this valuable manure, Mr Erskine justly remarks, that some slovenly farmers, "situated in the high grounds of this district, where the old husbandry is not yet worn out, are accustomed to carry their dung from the byre and stable to some of the ridges higher than the rest, and to throw the earth on the dung during the winter, sometimes not till early in-the spring. The industrious man turns it before using it."

It may be remarked, by the way, that even this very slovenly practice appears preferable to that of teathing, or spreading out the dung upon the ground, without any covering of earth in the end of harvest, or beginning of winter. A process which exposes the dung either to be oxygenated, or to have the greatest part of its rich saline particles washed away from the soil by the storms and rains of winter. This practice, and its pernicious effects, are described in the Stirlingshire Report.

Whilst the numerous and extensive distilleries of this county existed, a very rich source of agricultural improvement was afforded to the adjacent district. Since the period of their suppression, agriculture has proportionately suffered. Of all kinds of putrefactive manure, distillery dung is justly accounted the richest. It may be sated that its value, compared with farm-yard dung, is as 3 to 2. This may be easily admitted, when it is considered that distillery manure consists of the dung and urine of stall fed and straw-yard fed cattle, including swine; and that by the construction of these inclosures nothing is lost.

In order to furnish some idea of the importance of distillery dung, as it formerly was furnished to this district, the reporter begs leave to state Mr Erskine's account of 1795: "A great distiller in the county of Clackmannan, whose works are situated close to the banks of the Forth, (as the quantity of manure from his byre or cattle sheds was so very considerable, that he could not find land enough adjacent to him in the carse), took a large farm in the high grounds, in the parish of Alloa. He transports his dung by water to the shore of Alloa; and he carries it thence in double carts to his farm, which, on a medium, may be about two miles from the shore. The expence of loading and unloading the boat, together with the carriage to the shore of Alloa, costs about 1s. per ton; and it will cost about as much more to carry it from the shore to the farm." It is of great importance to add, with regard to the quantity of this dung given to the Scots acre, in Mr Erskine's words that "thirty double loads of this manure are put on an acre, each load containing about 25 cubical feet, and weighing about 18 cwt."

Composts of various manures are also practised. Some are made of earth, lime and dung; a little sea-ware may be sometimes obtained upon the coast. This, with the addition of a little dung, and the peat earth which is floated down from Blair Drummond moss, when it can be procured, forms an excellent compost. The scarcity of peat earth in this county precludes the extensive use of Lord Meadowbank's method of constructing composts, of which a short account may be found in the Stirlingshire Report under this head.

SECTION IV. - Irrigation.

It would seem that there are few situations where irrigation could be practised with such ease, as well as advantage, as in the sloping grounds on the base of the Ochills. By irrigation, the calcareous particles which, as chemists tell us, reside in all waters, are deposited, and contribute to enrich the soil. The various tribes of mosses are at the same time destroyed, and the verdure of the grasses restored.

It does not appear, however, that irrigation has been much practised in this district. In the Stirlingshire Report, a particular account is given of the regulations laid down for this operation, by a person from England, employed by Mr Johnston of Alva in introducing it upon his estate in this vicinity. An attempt has also been made on the estate of Harvieston to irrigate a field at the bottom of the Ochills; but the experiment is as yet too recent and imperfect to enable us to ascertain the effects.


In a district which, throughout its whole extent, is washed on one side by the river Forth, the subject of embankments claims a very considerable interest. In describing the carse soils lying along the banks of the Forth, it was remarked, in another work*, "that the whole tract appears to have been covered at some remote period by the waters of the sea, which, gradually retiring, have left this soil, the richest in Scotland, exposed and fit for the operations of agriculture; that these carse lands are very little elevated above flood mark, and that all along the coast the Firth is so shallow that, at low water, many hundreds of acres are left dry; the soil of which, when recovered by embankments, is equally valuable with that which had been long under cultivation."

* Stirlingshire Report.

Some hundreds of aces of this rich soil have accordingly been recovered from the sea on the Clackmannanshire coasts. It appears that a wall was built at a very early period at a place still called Salt Grass, to ward off the encroachments of the Sea. It was too superficial, however, to resist the violence of the tides, which frequently broke it down, and overflowed the land. It became necessary to adopt more effectual measures. The sediment of the river, which is a blue mud or soft clay, had in process of time accumulated, and formed a considerable tract of rich soil. In 1776, Mr Erskine of Mar, the proprietor, began a strong embankment, which was finished in the course of seven months, and by which 43 and a half Scots acres, equal to 55 and a half English, of arable land were gained to the country. The length of this embankment is 1320 yards; its cubical contents are 36,800 cubic yards;  the breadth of the base at the bottom is 40 feet, and at the top 7 feet; the height is 10 feet. Towards the river it has a slope of 2 feet for every foot in height. On that also it is covered with sods of earth, of one foot in thickness, to defend it from the spray of the sea.

The whole expence of this embankment (including a sluice, which cost upwards of L.36) amounted to L.805. A farmer advanced the money for it, and for the first five years paid a boll of oats per acre; for the next twelve years he paid one guinea per acre. It is now as valuable as any land in the carse.

A great error was committed, however, by the tenant who occupied this new land. Instead of allowing it to remain some years in grass, which would have been very luxuriant, and paid well for feeding of cattle, he ploughed it down immediately, and thus prevented the soil from consolidating. For the first 5 or 6 years,  the crops lodged, and the grain was spoiled.

Some years afterwards a tract of land adjoining to the above, on the estate of Lord Dundas, was gained from the river by a similar embankment. It was pastured for upwards Of seven years; the good effects now appear; it Produces luxuriant crops. It may be added, that a part of the wall which encloses this tract is so constructed as to admit a waggon road on the top, for the purpose of carrying coals to such vessels as are too large for going up the pow of Clackmannan to the usual shipping place.

Besides these embankments upon the coast, very important additions have been made to the productive soil of this county by the embankment of islands in the Firth which had, previous to that operation, been overflowed at spring tides, and consequently of little value.

Mr Erskine of Mar has embanked an island, the extent of which is no less than 70 acres, and which is now under the plough; it is worth from L.4 to L.6 per acre. The work cost about two shillings per lineal yard.

About 17 years ago Mr Haig embanked an island of near SO acres at an expence of one shilling per lineal yard. In its former state, when liable to be overflowed at spring tides, it brought only 15 shillings per acre. It now brings L.4 per acre for pasture, and will bring much more when under the plough.

Another island, of about 15 acres, opposite to Tillybody, is about to be embanked, and no doubt with the same beneficial effect.

Mr Erskine very properly remarks, with regard to these embankments, "that, in order to secure them from damage for many years; they should be made rather stronger than is as a bank that is just sufficient to resist the ordinary pressure of the water is apt to be overthrown by any extraordinary tides."

Such acquisitions by embankments, it may be observed, are attended with many advantages. They not only add to the extent and value of estates, but they contribute greatly to the safety of the navigation of the Forth by contracting it, and thereby clearing and deepening its channel.


SECTION I. - Cattle.

"There is little or no attention paid," as Mr Erskine remarks, "to the breed of any kind of stock in this county."

Every farmer has a number of cows for the use of the family, proportioned to the extent of his farm and domestic establishment. Some calves are reared either for breeding or for the butcher. In fattening calves, lint-seed jelly is introduced in this county. The occupant of Mr Erskine's farm of King of Muirs has begun to feed with oil-cake, which is now considered as preferable to every other food for fattening calves. Milch cows are fed here, as in the adjacent district, in winter with hay or oat straw, with two feeds every day of boiled chaff, turnips, potatoes, or cabbages. In this county the refuse of distilleries was, whilst they existed, much used in feeding milch cows and cattle for the shambles.

In summer milch cows, as in Stirlingshire, are here principally fed by soiling "with cut clover, tares, or the outer leaves of cabbages and cole-wort." In the rich inclosures set apart for fattening, the cattle lie out of doors during the summer night and day.

In speaking of the management of cattle, it may be stated that very little attention is paid to the dairy; though there are few districts which appear to promise greater encouragement to the produce of that department of agricultural economy. The district is populous; the villages and towns are numerous. In the town of Alloa "milk in all its shapes would find a good and steady sale." It is remarked by the intelligent authors of the Statistical account of that parish, as far back as 1795 that some, who have kept an exact account of that article, are of opinion that L.6 or L.7 might be easily made of a cow in the year." When the great advance that has since taken place on every article of consumpt is taken into account, it is no extravagant calculation to estimate the produce of a cow in the vicinity of Alloa at L. 14 in the year.

The winter fattening of cattle by feeding is practised in this county to a considerable extent, especially on the large farms upon Mr Erskine's estate. The Reporter particularly admired the convenient construction of the stalls on the farm of King if Muirs, where the stake to which the animal is fastened, the fastening itself, and the separation between it and its neighbours on each side, are so constructed that it cannot receive any injury itself, or do any injury to others. Immediately in front of the cattle is a passage of about two feet, along which the servants who feed the cattle pass with ease and security to supply the food, and to arrange the economy of the stall. A particular account of the farm-offices at King of Muirs may be found in the Farmer's Magazine, vol. viii. to which however the Reporter has not access at present.

Oxen are not wrought in Clackmannanshire.

SECTION II. - Sheep.

IN the lower district of the county few sheep are kept. Excepting those which are fed in gentlemen's parks for the use of the family, almost none occur till we arrive at the district of the Ochills. This again is almost wholly employed in sheep walks; and no mountains in Scotland, it may be fairly stated, furnish finer sheep pasture than these. A sheep's grazing in the Ochills, as has been already noticed, may be estimated at five shillings a-year; and in general an acre of this pasture will a sheep.

The number of acres in that portion of the Ochill hills which is situated within the bounds of this county may, according to an estimate offered in the section on soils, be reckoned at 7000 nearly. It will follow that the number of sheep pastured on these mountains is about 7000. Perhaps 1000 may be added for the sheep pastured in gentlemen's parks; though perhaps this is an over-rating.

The breed almost universally used is the black faced or Linton breed. They are generally purchased from the Linton market at one year old, and had, according to the custom of the south, been smeared with tar and butter. That practice, however, from the greater mildness of the climate, is found to be unnecessary in this district. Some farmers here have come of late to rear lambs of their own stock; and they find, upon the whole, that the sheep thus reared on the spot are stronger and more profitable than those purchased from Tweedale.

"After the sheep have been shorn three times white (as the sheepmasters term it) they are sold about August and September as fit for the butcher."

The best white fleeces yield about 4 lbs. of wool, the average is 2 and a half lbs.; and the best smeared, about 6. lbs., the average is 4 lbs. The former generally sells at one-third more than the latter.

The mutton, and especially the wool, produced on the Ochills is considered of superior quality; particularly that of Craiginnan; a on the Castle Campbell estate. The Mill Glen and Forehill farms, in the parish of Tillycoultry, are considered as inferior to none in producing excellent mutton and fine wool.

Almost no instance occurs in these farms of giving food to sheep by the hand. The practice of turning them into turnip fields for fattening for the butcher is introduced in the lower districts of the county.

For the account of the management of a sheep stock, and the distempers to which they are liable, the reader is referred to the Agricultural Report of Stirlingshire under this section.

SECTION III. - Horses.

Few horses are bred in this county. Horses, however, of the best quality are used for agricultural purposes, purchased at very high prices, chiefly from the counties of Lanark and Ayr. The price of a good work-horse varies from L.32 to L.52. It is reckoned that a good horse will perform work for 14 years.

As to the number of horses kept to space of land, as in Stirlingshire, two horses are reckoned sufficient to labour 50 acres.

In regard to the important article of the expence of horses employed in agriculture, the Reporter has before him a valuable document furnished by the intelligent occupant of Mr Erskine's farm of King of Muirs, in answer to the queries proposed to him by the Right Honourable President of the Board. 

From this he now offers the following extract:

A pair, of good horses at L.40 each*, L.80 0 0

*At this present time (1813) at least five per cent. may be added to various articles of the calculation; such as smith's and wright's work and saddlery. A good pair of horses cost L.100.

Add 20 per cent. interest for deaths, lameness, and annual depreciation of value, L.16 0 0
Expence of keeping during the working months, viz. 28 bolls of oats,

the weak being mixed with the strong, at L.1 per boll, L.28 0 0
Cut grass, tares, etc. in summer, L.12 0 0
Smith's expence, L.3 6 0
Wright's account, saddlery, harness, etc. L. 3 6 0
Horse tax, 18s. each, L. 1 16 0

Total L. 64 8 0

Where carrots are cultivated, the following rotation of feeding horses is frequently practised:-
In the morning 6 lbs. of carrots instead of one lippie of oats. At mid-day 4 lbs. hashed oats, with 7 lbs. steamed potatoes. At night 14 lbs. steamed potatoes, mixed with 3 lbs, dust, seeds* or chaff.

* By seeds is to be understood the husks of oats, grinded off in the first process at the mill, and saved as an useful provender for horses. Dust consists of the light particles of farinaceous matter which float about in the same process, and is carefully collected as a nutritive food for cattle.

The crops of whins (Ulex Europoeus, Linn.) bruised are sometimes used as fodder for horses with good effect. Two feeds of oats per day are at the same time given.

No instance of working asses or mules in this county.


The prejudices which were, at no distant period, so general amongst the common people against swine's flesh are now happily removed. On all the great farms a piggery forms an essential part of the establishment. Even cottagers and small occupants rear a pig or two. The breed that is most esteemed is the Chinese. Whilst the distilleries were wrought upon so large a scale in this county, great number of swine were reared. The large Hampshire breed was chiefly used.

In summer swine are fed principally on cut clover, with the offals of the dairy and garden. In winter potatoes form the chief article of their food. In fattening them for the butcher, oats or beans well dried are added, for the purpose of making the flesh firm.


A few goats occur in the precipitous front of the Ochills, especially in the parish of Logie. They are deservedly banished from the rest of the county on account of the injury which they do to woods and plantations.

SECTION VI. - Poultry.

Nothing peculiar to Clackmannanshire occurs under this head. Turkies, geese, ducks, dunghill fowls, and pigeons, are reared here as in Stirlingshire. The oppressive custom of requiring the tenant to pay kain fowl as a part of rent, is, in almost every instance, abolished.


THE fine shelter afforded by the Ochills from the northern blast, together with the abundance of food furnished by the fragrant flowers that grow on these mountains, renders that district of the county singularly favourable for rearing bees. Accordingly, all along the base of the Ochills numerous bee-hives may be seen. This however being a very precarious stock, and liable to be affected by various accidents of season, weather, and treatment, it is difficult to say whether the profits afford a compensation for the expence and trouble.


SECTION I. - Labour.

Servants. - Farmers in this district generally prefer married men-servants, who live in cottages of their own, to unmarried men living in the family. The former are found to be more orderly and tractable than the latter. They occasion far less trouble and expence of maintenance. They will sit down contentedly in their own cottages to victuals which they would spurn at in their master's kitchen. Mr Erskine justly observes, that "this is having cottagers on the very best establishment." Cottagers upon the ancient establishment were miserably oppressed by the tenant, who exacted of them and their families various services, or bondages as they were called, with much severity. The servant cottager, however, is placed in a suitable state of independence on the one hand, whilst the ties by which he is bound to his master, upon the other, are sufficient to secure his diligence and fidelity. These advantages are so great, that there are instances in which the tenant has been led to build cottages for his married servants chiefly at his own expence.

If a married servant, however, be disposed to pilfer from his master, it must be acknowledged that his opportunities are greater, and his temptations stronger, than those of the servant who lives in the family constantly under his master's eye.

The wages of servants have advanced for some time past; and are yearly advancing so rapidly, that it is impossible to offer any account which can be considered as complete. it may be of use however to state some of the stages which mark the rise of wages at different periods.

Mr Erskine states that "formerly, when most of the ploughmen lived in their employer's houses, the fees, (i.e. wages) with the bounties, (or an allowance of certain articles of clothing) amounted only to L.2. 13s. 8d." Ploughmen who did not live in the house had, besides their wages, two pecks of oatmeal in the week, or 6 and a half bolls of livery meal, as it was called, in the year, with 4d. per week under the name of kitchen money. To servants who live in their own houses, this same quantity of livery meal precisely is still allowed.

Mr Erskine gives the following table of the progressive rise of the rate of wages from 1754 to 1796 inclusive. It is very important.

Year House Ploughmen Out-door Ploughmen Day Labourers Women Hay Women Harvest Men Harvest
  Per Annum Per Annum Per Day Per Day Per Day Per Day
1754 L2 13s 8d L6 16s 4d 7d      
1760 L3 0s 0d L7 2s 1/4d 8 or 8d 4d 8d  
1773 L4 10s 0d L9 12s 2d 9 or 10d      
1790 L6 10s 0d L11 19s 9d 10 or 12d 6d 10d 12d
1796 L7 7s 0d L13 7s 0d from 12 to 16d 6d 12d 14d


The Reporter is not enabled to continue the above table with the same minuteness to the present time. The following is given as an accurate statement of the wages of a man-servant living out of the family, on a principal farm of Mr Erskine's, in 1812:-

Wages in money, L.20 0 0
Kitchen money, L.2 12 0
One firlot of potatoes planted, he himself hoeing them, valued at L.1 4 0
6 and a half bolls of meal at L.1. 6s. 8d. per boll, L.8 13 4
If married, his house-rent and garden, valued at L.2 0 0
Total L. 34 9 4

In the Stirlingshire Report, a married servant, with a house, is stated to have L.34 per annum in wages; and an unmarried one from L.25 to L.28, with bed, board, and washing. The coincidence of these accounts; from different authorities, in these adjacent counties, affords a confirmation of their accuracy.*

* It may be worth the reader's while to trace this co-incidence of accounts at two years distance. See Stirlingshire Report.

It may be added that, besides the wages stated above, married servants have sometimes some other emoluments, such as provender for a cow, and the use of their master's horses for carrying home their coals.

Women servants have from L.6 to L.10 a-year, with bed, board, and washing.

2. Labourers. - Mr Erskine states "that few or no servants are hired by the month, or harvest time;" though this is a very common practice in Stirlingshire, especially in the southern and western districts of that county. He states, however, "that women are hired for reaping, but that they are paid only by the day or half day, as the weather allows them to be employed."

It is the peculiar felicity of this small county, abounding so much in villages, and in a crowded population, that, as Mr Erskine suggests, "almost any number of women can be got at a short notice from most of the towns; and that it is no uncommon sight to see from 20 to 60 reapers in a field at once sometimes 80 to 100."

As every fact stated on such authority is important in a statistical view, it may be proper to add, from Mr Erskine's Report of 1795, that under-takers were to be found for cutting down a farmer's crop, at 5s. 5s. 6d. 6s. or 6s. 6d. per Scots acre, according to the apparent ease or difficulty of executing the work. But the diligent farmer," says he, "prefers hiring the reapers, and superintending them himself."

"The following," says Mr Erskine, "was the expence of cutting down a crop of 85 and a half Scots acres (about 109 and a half English acres) in 1795.

Eighteen women-shearers, 20 days, at 1s. each per day, L. 18 0 0
Three bandsters (that is, men for tying up the sheaves); at 14d. each, L.3 10 0
Amount L.21 10 0

Ten gallons of whiskey, at 4s. 6d. per gallon (about a quarter of a gill each per day) L.2 5 0
Total - L.25 15 0

85 and a half acres, at 5s. 6and a quarter pence per acre, L.23. 15s, 7 1/2d.

"In that year," Mr Erskine adds, "a woman scarcely reaped a Scots rood per day; but in common seasons a woman's work-may be reckoned at a rood per day."

Hay is cut at 4s. per Scots acre. It is win, as it is called, or prepared for stacking, for 3s. more.
The wages of day-labourers is from 1s. 8d. to 2s. per day, with victuals; and without victuals, 2s. 6d. in summer. In winter they are one-third lower. In general they are not allowed meat or beer. In harvest they sometimes get a dram of whisky, or some compensation in money for it.

The hours of work are almost generally from 6 0'clock in the morning till 6 0'clock in the afternoon, so long as it is day-light during that period of the day, with an hour for breakfast, and an hour for dinner. The women, besides, do the ordinary work of the house and of the dairy in the morning and evening.

In regard to piece-work, some notices have been given in the preceding chapters, under the several heads which fall under that department such as hedging and ditching, building of double stone walls, embankments, thrashing by the flail, and by the thrashing-mill. To these the reader is referred.

SECTION II. - Price of Provisions.

In regard to the subject of this section, it may be remarked that every article of provision is almost uniformly, in point of price, the same as in the adjacent county of Stirling. Here, as well as there, the price of animal food is nearly stationary during every season of the year, on account of the regular supply of that article furnished by the improved economy of feeding cattle for the butcher. In winter, cattle are stall-fed on turnips and potatoes; in summer, either in grass parks, or by soiling; so that at all times the markets are regularly supplied.

The price of beef and mutton is from 9d. to 10d. per lb. tron weight, or 22 ounces troy.

Butter from 1s. 6d. to 2s. according to the season. Common skimmed milk cheese about 7s. 6d.

The prices of grain are reserved for the table of fiars.


Coal is the fuel which is almost exclusively used in this county; and in no district of Scotland is this important mineral to be found more abundantly. Coal is wrought here, as has been stated, upon a very extensive scale. In a county of so small extent, the carriage of fuel to any particular place is so short, as to add very little to the price at the pit mouth, in comparison of more distant situations. It seems to be altogether unnecessary to enlarge on this subject. Nor does any thing occur, with regard "to the management of fuel, which seems to merit notice."


Circumstances dependent on Legislative Authority.

SECTION I. - Roads.

The principal roads in this county are now made turnpike; an improvement in the political economy of every district that aims at eminence in agriculture or manufactures, which is indispensable.

The northern line of road proceeds from Logie, by Menstrie and Tillycoultry, to the eastern extremity of the parish of Dollar, along the base of the Ochill hills. It furnishes a delightful ride; the magnificent mountains that hang over the road; the abrupt precipices, covered here and there with verdure, and sometimes threatening to overwhelm the traveller in their ruins; the purling streams which pour down from every chasm of the rocks; together with the strongly contrasted scenery of rich and well cultivated fields, adorned with plantations and gentlemen's seats, upon the south; all this affords a picture of the sublime, happily combined with the beautiful, that seldom occurs.

This road has been made turnpike only within these few years. Even in its previous state it excelled all the roads in the vicinity, from the firmness of the gravelly bottom, and from the abundance of materials for repairing it every where to be found. In its present state, having received various and important improvements in its direction, it may be pronounced to be one of the best and most pleasant roads in Scotland.

The length of this line of turnpike (deducting what runs through the parish of Alva in Stirlingshire) is about 6 and a half miles. The southern line of road, leading from the partition of that just now described near Logie, by Tillybody, Alloa, and Clackmannan, into Kinross-shire, on the north, and into Perthshire by Tulliallan on the south, was, about 25 years ago, throughout a great part of its extent, the most execrable in Scotland. The Reporter cannot forget his travelling by Kennetpans and Kilbagie in 1788, up to his horse's knees in deep and slimy mud. The carriages from the coal-works and from the distilleries ruined the roads, and the statute labour was altogether inadequate to their repair.

In the year 1794 a turnpike act was obtained for this line of road. "None were appointed trustees except those proprietors who had lands adjacent. Many of these were not resident; so that the principal care devolved on three or four of the number." None of these, as Mr Erskine well remarks, being biased by selfish views, they have vied with one another in conducting the road, according to their best judgment, for the public good. From inexperience they might have at first committed some errors; but these have been corrected, and this road is now complete. To one who had travelled this way 25 years ago, the present state of the road furnishes the most striking contrast to its former condition that can be well imagined.

The extent of this line of road, in its various directions within the bounds of this county, may amount to 14 or 15 miles.

The cross roads of this county are kept in good order. That from Alloa to Tillycoultry is excellent.

Mr Erskine of Mar, the original and well informed Reporter of Clackmannanshire, appears to have paid very particular attention to the construction of roads; and his observations on the subject are confirmed by long and indefatigable experience.

In this republished Report, therefore, the Author considers it as a duty which he owes to the public to give Mr Erskine's remarks on this subject in his own words. They appear to have been written for the purpose of assisting the Clackmannanshire trustees in the discharge of their duty under the act 1794. They will be found of essential service to road contractors in every period, and in every district of the kingdom.

"In order to assist the Commissioners in judging of the contracts given in to them for making of the several parts of the roads, by ascertaining the weight of stones (or metals, as they are generally termed by Scotch road makers), and the number of cart-loads it takes to finish a lineal yard of road of a given breadth - some yards of a road were made at a villa near Edinburgh. As the account may prove useful to others, I venture to give it as warranted by practice."

"The cart used was common Mid Lothian cart, or such as coals are generally carried in about Edinburgh. The length was 4 feet 5 inches, the breadth 3 feet, and the depth of it was 9 inches; so that it contained about 10 cubical feet, and weighed (the axle was iron) 6 and a half cwt."

"The road was metalled the breadth of 16 feet; and the depth of metals was 1 foot in the centre, tapering gently down to 9 inches on the sides, nine cart-loads weighed 5 tons 49 lb, (which is very near 12 cwt. 18 lb. per cart*, which is very near to 1 ton 14 lb. per yard). This quantity just finished 3 lineal yards of road of the breadth and depth afore mentioned."

* The carts about Edinburgh (which are like the above mentioned cart), which carry the stones for building, are obliged to carry 12 cwt.

"The stones were taken from the heap at Leith Walk, where they are daily broken for repairing that road; and they were as small as would permit them to pass through an oval ring of l and a half inch in its smallest diameter."

"The 9 cart loads cost 9s. which is nearly 1s. 9 and a half pence per ton; so that the materials, ready broken, cost 3d. per lineal yard, which is equal to L.264 per mile."

"The expence of carriage varies according to the distance of the pits or quarries from the roads, and the price of the hire pf a cart per day. According to a Paper in the second volume of the Museum Rusticum, a loaded cart moves at the rate of 2 and a half miles per hour. The empty cart should return in a shorter space of time."

"If 8 hours are reckoned the time of a day's work, a cart can travel 20 miles, which is equal to 35,200 yards per day. But if allowance is made for filling and emptying the carts, no more than 18 miles, which is equal to 31,680 yards, can be reckoned on for the day's work."

"The following table, shewing the number of times that a cart can go and return from the pits of gravel or quarries of stone, according to the several distances, is found from experience to be tolerably exact. It likewise shews the expence lineal yard of road, according to the several prices of the hire of carts in this country."

Distance from the pits Number of times that a cart goes and returns in a day Number of lineal yards of road covered by a cart Price of carriage, according to the distance, and price, per lineal yard, of a road, at the different rates of the hire of a cart per day
Yards Miles     2s. 6d. per day 3s. per day 3s. 6d. per day 4s. per day
440 1/4 36 12 0s. 2 1/2d. per yard 0s. 3d. per yard 0s. 3 1/2d. per yard 0s. 4d. per yard
880 1/2 18 6 0s. 5d. 0s. 6d. 0s. 7d. 0s. 8d.
1320 3/4 12 4 0s. 7 1/2d. 0s. 9d. 0s. 10 1/2d. 1s. 0d.
1760 1 9 3 0s. 10d. 1s. 0d. 1s. 2d. 1s. 4d.
2200 1 1/4 7 2 1/3 1s. 1d. 1s. 3 1/2d. 1s. 6d. 1s. 8 1/2d.
2640 1 1/2 6 2 1s. 3d. 1s. 6d. 1s. 9d. 2s. 0d.
3080 1 3/4 5 1 2/3 1s. 6d. 1s. 9d. 2s. 1d. 2s. 5d.
3520 2 4 one day 1 1/2 1s. 8d. 2s. 0d. 2s. 4d. 2s. 8d.
    5 the next          
3960 2 1/4 4 1 1/3 1s. 10 1/2d. 2s. 3d. 2s. 7 1/2d. 3s. 0d.
4400 2 1/2 3 and 4 1 1/3 2s. 6d. 3s. 0d. 3s. 6d. 4s. 0d.

The fractions, not inserted in the table, are so small, that they are not worth notice.

"The contracts for making of roads should specify the size of the stones: all of them ought to be broken small enough to go through an oval ring of iron, of the size formerly mentioned*.

*On all roads there ought to be some places left at the distance of every furlong, (on the side of the road, but in a recess); spaces sufficient to deposit the stones, and breaking them for the repair of the roads.

This method is perfectly easy, as any of the trustees (as well as the inspector of the roads) could carry the ring in his pocket, and the proof of the size of the stones is ready and expeditious; whereas the common practice in Scotland is to ascertain the size of the stone by its weight, which is extremely troublesome as well as fallacious. All the stones ought to be broken to their proper size at the quarry; or if the stones are picked off the land, the heaps should be broken before any are allowed to be carried to the roads; otherwise the contractors may easily deceive their employers, by laying on larger stones than the size specified in the contract, and covering them with the smaller ones."

"No contractors should be employed but those who bring undoubted certificates for their fidelity and knowledge in their profession. Ignorant or designing men often give in estimates at a low price; but such generally turn out most expensive in the end; and the road made by them never gives satisfaction to the trustees or to the public."

"Skilful inspectors are absolutely necessary to superintend the making of a given quantity of road; or particular parts of it, when completed, should be dug up and examined."

"New lines ought to be preferred to the old tracts, if no inclosures or other impediments intervene that would render this change too expensive; for roads are always most easily and completely made when no interruption is given to the workmen by carriages or passengers."

"Foot-paths of 3 or 4 feet in breadth on each side of the roads are extremely useful, and ought always to be made for many reasons; since, besides giving the conveniency that foot-passengers are entitled to have, they preserve the fences and crops of the adjoining fields from injury. The convexity of every road ought to be such as is just sufficient to throw off the water into a small grip close to the foot-path, which will serve to convey it to the lowest part of the roads, where conduits ought to be placed underneath the foot-paths, to carry it off into the ditches."

"The opposite sketch will best explain the form of a good road." [the sketch is not included in this edition of the report, see 1795 agricultural report.]
"The box, as the road-makers in Scotland call that part that is dug out for laying the stones in, and which helps to keep them in the middle of the road, is marked by the dotted lines."

"The common run of contractors are too often inclined to deceive their employers, in not reducing or lessening such pulls as occur in the road according to their engagements."

"A very simple portable instrument has been lately made by Mr John Miller, optician, on the South Bridge, Edinburgh, which enables the road-maker and inspector to ascertain the several ascents in the roads with greater facility and precision than has hitherto been practised by most of them."

"A and B, two rulers mahogany, joined in the same manner as a common foot-rule; in the leg A a spirit level is inserted; and the ivory arch C folds into the leg B when put into the pocket."

"D is a road of parallel surfaces, 10 feet in length, which is laid along the road, and made to bear on all its points. The instrument is then placed on the upper side of the road, and the leg A is brought to a level; and the divisions on the arch mark the number of inches of a rise in 10 feet. If a rod of 20 feet is used instead of a rod of 10 feet, then each division of the arch is 2 inches; if a rod of 30 feet is used, then each division of the arch is 3 inches."

"That this instrument may be rendered as easy and expeditious in the using of it as possible, and errors in calculation avoided, the road-maker, as well as the inspector, ought to have a table such as the following in his pocket-book*."

* This is an ingenious instrument; but I find, by experience, that a common rafter level, when neatly made, suits the common road undertaker better; but no road ought to be armed without one or other of them lying constantly behind the workmen.

"Table for the pocket-level invented by Mr John Miller, optician in Edinburgh, for ascertaining the rise of any pull in making of roads.

1 division on the arch equal to 1 inch in 10 feet, or 1 foot in 120 feet.

2 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 60 feet.
3 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 40 feet.
4 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 30 feet.
5 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 24 feet.
6 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 20 feet.
7 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 17.14 feet.
8 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 15 feet.
9 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 13.3 feet.
10 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 12 feet.
11 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 10.9 feet.
12 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 10 feet.
13 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 9.2 feet.
14 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 8.57 feet.
15 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 8 feet.
16 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 7.5 feet.
17 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 7.05 feet.
18 divisions ditto, 1 foot in 6.66 feet.

Mr Erskine.

SECTION II. - Iron Rail-ways.

Iron rail-ways were introduced into this county at least as early as into any other district of Scotland. The abundance of coal, and the great facility which this invention affords for conveying it to the adjacent shores of the Forth, naturally suggested its introduction, as well as the important improvements which it has gradually received. The situation and level of the coal country here is highly favourable to the use of rail-ways. In general the slope from the coal pits is towards the Firth, so that the loaded draught is easy; whilst the ascent, where any occurs, is not felt on the return of the empty waggons. It is very interesting to a stranger to see eight waggons linked together drawn with ease by one horse. Since the account of these rail-ways was given by Mr Erskine of Mar in 1795, great improvements have been made in their construction, as well as in that of the waggons that are used. Of these Mr Erskine has given the Reporter reason to hope for an account from his pen, to be inserted in the Appendix. In the mean time he is under the necessity of offering an abridged account of their state in 1795.

"The sleepers on which the iron railing rests are broad and only 18 inches distant from centre to centre. A rail (wooden) of upwards of four inches square is pinned down to the sleepers with an oak pin; over this another of the same dimensions is laid, care being always taken that it shall cross the joints of the lower rail. The whole is well beat up in good clay. On the top of the uppermost rail is laid a bar of malleable iron of 1and a quarter inches broad, and upwards of five-eighths of an inch in thickness. The waggons have wheels of 27and a half inches in diameter; and these, with the waggon, are supposed to weigh from 18 to 20 cwt. A waggon contains 1 and a half tons of coals. The declivity of the waggon-way is so gentle in most places as to admit the horse to draw back the empty waggons to the coal hills at the rate of three miles per hour."

"The advantages that arise from this division of the load into several waggons is very great."

On these rail-ways a single horse, by the more modern improvement of employing a greater number of waggons of a smaller size, will draw (including the weight of the waggon) between 12 and 15 tons. "These small waggons are more easily filled and emptied; and by throwing the weight over a greater surface, less damage is done to the waggon-way, at the same time that it is easier for the horse, whose almost only exertion is at the first starting of the waggon. But if the weight were put on one waggon, the difficulty would be insurmountable. The waggons, when standing still, are quite close to each other, the chains that join them being only two feet long; so that when the first waggon starts, the impetus communicated by its motion to the rest greatly lessens the exertions required of the horse."

"The first expence of making these roads was from 10 to 11s. per yard, of between L.900 and L.1000 per mile*"

* At present, from the increased price of labour and materials, the expence may be estimated at nearly twice as much, or L.1800.

The repairs, however, which such a road requires are inconsiderable. In 10 years Mr Erskine estimates them at L.100 per mile. He considers rail-ways, and it would seem justly, as superior to canals. The frost affects them little; and less time being lost than from the obstruction occasioned to the navigation of canals by locks.

There are no canals in this county which merit attention.

There are no fairs or cattle markets of any consequence. The stated fairs in the villages of Dollar, Alloa, etc. may be seen in any Scots Almanack. Though there is no public market for the sale of grain in this county, the farmers find no difficulty in disposing of their produce by private bargain. The most substantial Sell their grain by the highest price of the Mid-Lothian or Haddington fiars; that is, they give two or three months credit to the purchaser at the average price of the year. Smaller tenants sell their grain at the current price of the time of delivering it.

SECTION III. - Weights and Measures.

Notwithstanding the great importance of this article in the view of political economy, it is not thought necessary to enter into particular detail of it as far as Clackmannanshire is concerned. The reader is referred to a pretty full account of the subject in the Report of the adjacent county of Stirling. That account applies in every instance to this county. For the amusement of the antiquarian, it may be added, that by act of Parliament in 1669, the burgh of Culross was appointed to keep the standard for coal measures in Scotland. These standard measures, however, are now lost. The Scots book of rates mentions the great chalder and the small chalder of Culross, which were in the proportion of five to two.

SECTION IV. - Price of products compared with expences.

IN the Stirlingshire Report, under this section, (marked the seventh in the general plan of the Honourable Board), the Author took the liberty to state that he did not precisely understand the object of its title. Anxious, however, to perform his engagements, he thinks that the following statement, abridged from a communication to the Right Honourable President from the intelligent occupant of Mr Erskine's farm of King of Muirs, may meet the ideas of this instance, and be at the same serviceable to the cause of agriculture*.

* The communication which is stated was made in consequence of queries by the Right Honourable Sir John Sinclair to his friend Mr Erskine of Mar with regard to his farm of King of Muirs. The answers are by the occupant of that now valuable farm.

"The farm of King of Muirs, the property of J. F. Erskine of Mar, and consisting of 207 Scots acres arable, and 36 acres waste, but which is in the course of being made arable; is situated on the south bank of the river Dovan, in the parish Alloa, about 2 and a half miles north from the harbour of Alloa, and about 6 miles to the east of the town of Stirling, where there is a weekly market for all kinds of grain on every Friday."

"The farm is divided into 19 fields, from 5 to 20 Scots acres each; they are mostly from 10 to 17 acres. The present tenant got possession of it in 1805. Nearly 30 acres of it was muir, covered with whins (ulex Eur.) and broom. These acres, not being in lease, he got possession of only in June 1805; but he forced on the improvements so rapidly, that he had the whole in crop in 1806. Twenty acres of it were sown with potatoes and Blainslie oats. The other 10 acres, being the worst part of the muir, and late in getting forward, were sown with big, (bear), as being a surer crop than barley. The whole was manured sparingly with distillery dung, and produced a fine crop. Potatoe-oats averaged about 9 bolls per acre, every boll giving 18 pecks of meal; and Blainslie above 16 pecks. The bear, or big, produced above 9 bolls per acre, weighing Only 16 and a half stones Dutch. The whole was sown with grass-seeds."

"the rest of the farm was for the most part in a state of nature. A very small proportion of it indeed was under the plough, but in a very unproductive state both to proprietor and tenant. The best idea that can be given of its condition, when let to the present occupier, is that he obtained the crop of that season at a valuation which yielded only from 3 to 5 and a half seeds. Almost the whole of the farm accordingly was placed for the year 1806 under summer fallow with lime or dung; and the next year it produced what is considered as a fair average crop; a great part of it far above an average. The tenant sold that year (1807) above 400 bolls of wheat (the average of the acre being above eight and a half bolls). No regular rotation from the above circumstances has yet been adopted." The intelligent tenant adds, "that these facts shew the difference between the occupation of land by poor indolent people and those who have the means of improvement within their own power. They shew the loss that falls on the proprietor and on the country."

The expence of the establishment of servants and horses this, and on similar farms in this district, is very great. Here it appears that five pair of horses, with a man-servant for each pair, are employed, besides a horse and boy employed in carting. An estimate has already been offered of the expence of a man-servant and a pair of horses. It amounts to at least L.100. From these data some judgment may be formed of the expences, as well as the profits, of a farm in Clackmannanshire of about 240 Scots acres.

It appears farther, from the notes in possession of the Reporter, "that after having completes the improvement of the farm, the occupant considers three labourers" (and consequently three pairs of horses, with the cart horse and boy already stated) "as an adequate number for the farm stock." Thus the estimate of expence and profit must be considerably reduced for this farm of about 243 Scots acres. In this view it is proper to add, in the words of the occupant of the King of Muirs farm, that "he feeds every year 40 cattle prime fat, their average weight about 38 stones Dutch, (say 17 and a half ounces to the pound)."

A very important remark is added, which coincides so entirely with the author's ideas, suggested in the Stirlingshire Report, that it is thought proper to give it in the writer's own words.

"With regard to the size of a farm for a man of capital, and superintending it himself, with his steading situated in the centre of his farm, though 500 acres are little enough, he could manage that as easily as 300 acres with the steading ill situated; and consequently could afford to give more rent for a farm" (circumstances being considered) "of the greater size than of the lesser." It is added, that the capital required in the neighbourhood, if the tenant be bound to leave the farm in proper condition, may be about L.40 per acre." If the ground had been left in good condition, one half of that sum may be considered as sufficient. "If the tenant has not been bound to a proper rotation of crops towards the end of his lease, and that the fodder is to be rouped off his farm the last year, it will require L.40 per acre to stock it."

The intelligent agriculturist, it is hoped, will be gratified and informed by the preceding abridgment of the account, which a brother experienced in the science gives of the manner in which he has exercised his judgment and skill since the year 1805.

SECTION V. - Manufactures.

THE manufactures which are carried on in this small county are various and important. It is obvious that the abundance of coal, the fertility of the soil, and the great facility of water carriage by the Firth of Forth, must have at an early period suggested the idea of erecting establishments of this kind in Clackmannanshire.

Various and important manufactures are accordingly carried on at present in this county. Of these it is not now proposed to offer a detailed account. A few notices of the most prominent articles must suffice.

In this county are carried on, to a considerable extent, the various manufactures of iron works, distilleries, mills, bleachfields, glass-works, tile and tan-works, weaving, etc.

l. Iron-works. - The Devon iron-works were begun in 1792. There is much singularity in their construction. They are erected on a steep bank more than 50 feet above the level of the river, and composed of a stratum of free stone of very dry and uniform contexture. The several parts of these works are formed from excavations made in this rock. Two furnaces, each above 40 feet high, and 14 feet in diameter, with the spacious arches which give access to the workmen, at the bottom of the furnace, to draw of the liquid metal and slag, are all cut out of the rock. The roof which covers the casting house, a room of 70 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 23 feet high, is supported by the sides of the quarry, and the solid pillars of rock that were left for the purpose in making the excavation. The engine-house and its Apparatus are formed in like manner. In a close mine, which is air-tight, also cut out of the rock, a magazine of wind, of above 10,000 cubic feet of air, much condensed by the power of the engine, supplies the two furnaces.

These works are within three miles of the harbour of Alloa, where their produce is shipped; and from which, by the retour carriage, supplies of iron-stone, iron-ores, lime-stone, timber, and materials, are easily obtained.

2. Distilleries. - This county has been long celebrated for the extensive scale on which its numerous distilleries have been conducted. The frequent instances which have lately occurred of the temporary suppression of distillation from grain, by acts of legislature, render it impossible to give an adequate account of the condition of these establishments. As to the policy of their interruptions of this manufacture many doubts have been expressed. The discouragements given by this measure to the growing of barley, and the consequent derangement of some important agricultural rotations, but especially the diminished quantity of fattened cattle which these distilleries used to supply, have been considered as too great sacrifices to the inconsiderable addition of grain obtained by their suppression.

Whilst distillation from grain was permitted, there were six considerable distilleries in this county, viz. Kennetpans, Kilbagie, Clackmannan, Carsebridge, Grange, and Cambus. The two first of these were by far the most extensive. Without entering into a particular detail, it may be sufficient to say that, previous to the year 1788, the quantity of grain used annually at Kilbagie alone was above 60,000 bolls; the quantity of spirits produced, above 3000 tons; the number of black cattle fed, about 7000; and of swine 2000. The number of people employed was about 800. The buildings and utensils cost upwards of L.40,000.

The works occupy four acres of ground surrounded by a high wall. A small rivulet runs through the middle of the works, which drives the machinery of a thrashing-mill, and all the grinding mills necessary to the distillery. It besides supplies a canal of about a mile in length, which communicates with the Forth, and serves to convey the imports and exports of the establishment.

The distillery at Kennetpans was in proportion to that at Kilbagie as three to five. These two paid to government an excise duty considerably greater than the land-tax of Scotland. The Reporter finds in his notes; taken at the manse of Clackmannan, On the respectable authority of Dr M. that the Kilbagie distillery paid at one period a duty of half a million sterling to Government.

3. Mills. - "There are many mills in this district employed for various purposes. There is a paper-mill; mills for extracting oil, and making cakes from lintseed; mills for dressing flax, and fulling mills; one mill for chopping and grinding dye-stuffs; many for wheat, oats, malt, and pot or pearl barley. There is a very complete set of mills at Alloa. The building is 93 feet long, 31 feet broad over walls, and 32 feet high. The machinery alone, near 15 years ago, cost L.500. Two large wheels in the centre of the building drive all the machinery; they are 19 feet in diameter, The brewers and bakers in the barony of Alloa (Mr Erskine of Mar's property) are thirled to it, which gives the miller considerable business, and enables him to pay a rent of L.300 a-year for it."

4. Bleachfields. - ln 1787 a bleachfield was established in the parish of Dollar, on the banks of the Devon, which in a few years came to occupy no less than 20 acres of ground. The excellent machinery of this establishment is supplied with water from the river; whilst the canals, boilers, etc. are supplied at all seasons with the finest filtrated water from the Ochills. The greatest part of the cloth bleached at this field consists of the fine diaper or table-linen of Dunfermline, so justly celebrated over the whole island for this manufacture. The chemical method of bleaching by oxygenated muriatic acid has been successfully employed here by Mr Haig, the founder of this establishment; and he gained, in 1790, the premium for this method of bleaching from the Honourable Board of Trustees. Since that period he has made many valuable discoveries, both with regard to the preparation and application of that acid; and finds it very useful, particularly at the end of the season, when the influence of the sun has become diminished. He finds this method better adapted for cotton cloths than for linens.

5. Glass-work, Tile, and Tan-work. - In the neighbourhood of Alloa, to the west of the Ferry, there is erected a glass-work for making bottles, which is thought to be the most conveniently situated for that purpose of any in Britain. The abundance and easy conveyance of coals, and the facilities of water carriage, cannot be equalled any where. The success of this establishment has been accordingly very great.

A little to the north-west of the glass house there is a tile and brick-work upon a pretty extensive scale, and well employed. Above that there is a considerable tan-work.

6. Weaving. - In the Parish of Alva, which (though situated in Stirlingshire) it may be proper to state here, as it forms part of this district, there has long been established a manufactory for blankets and serges of a coarse quality, and low price; the former from 9d. to 1s. per yard and the latter from 16d. to 18d. per yard. The gross produce of this manufacture was estimated by Mr Erskine, in 1795, at about L.8000 a-year. The wool chiefly employed in this manufacture is from that of the Ochills being generally wrought up by the people of the country for domestic purposes. The number of looms employed in the Alva manufacture may be about 70; and that of those employed in Alloa and Tillybody about 100.

SECTION VI. - Commerce.

THE port of Alloa is well situated for commerce. At neap-tides the water rises from 12 to 15 feet; and at spring-tides from 17 to 22. There is a substantial well built quay. A little above the harbour there is a dry dock, capable of receiving vessels of large burden; the depth of the water being at spring-tides 16 feet, and the width of the gates 34 and a half. Opposite to the dock, which has no connection with the harbour, is an excellent anchorage in a great depth of water, with full room to swing the largest vessel. Above this dry dock is a ferry, on which two complete piers have been built, one on each side of the river, affording at all times of the tide a safe and commodious passage, of a breadth, at high Water, of somewhat above half a mile.

The Reporter congratulates the public on his having it in his power to communicate an important document on the subject of the commerce of the port of Alloa, transmitted by the Reverend James Maxton, minister of that parish, and written by James Ure, Esq. collector of the customs there. The liberality and ability of this communication will be acknowledged by the reader.

Communication from James Ure, Esq. Collector of the Customs at Alloa.

There is a custom-house in this county, situated at the port of Alloa, and at which considerable business is done. The creeks of Stirling, Kincardine, and Clackmannan pow, are also comprehended in its precinct. It would be attended, however, with considerable labour to discriminate particularly the shipping belonging to, and trade carried on at places within the county, from these creeks situated in the counties of Stirling and Perth but it may be safely asserted that the most of the trade of the port is within the county, although indeed the property in the ships themselves chiefly belongs to persons resident at Kincardine, in the county of Perth.

The number of vessels registered at the custom-house of Alloa is 120, and containing 9000 tons, in the navigating of which 476 men are employed. There are cleared coastwise outwards, on an average annually, from 900 to 1000 vessels, containing about 50,000 tons, and navigated with about 2,500 seamen.

The principal articles carried coastwise outwards from the county of Clackmannan, in said vessels, are from 40 to 50,000 tons of coals, and from 5 to 900,000 gallons of British spirits; and the greater part of the last mentioned article is carried to the English market. There is also a considerable quantity of pig-iron manufactured at the Devon iron works, and exported from the port of Alloa, to the amount of from 2 to 3000 tons annually.

Several years back there was a very considerable exportation of coal to foreign parts, particularly to Holland and Sweden; but this trade has been almost annihilated by the late political events on the continent of Europe. There were, however, some cargoes sent outwards last year to Sweden, and, besides the quantity above carried coastwise, about 30 cargoes for Ireland.

The number of vessels discharging in the precinct of Alloa custom-house, with cargoes from other ports in Great Britain, on an annual average is from 400 to 500. Their cargoes consist chiefly of grain, particularly in those years that the distilleries are permitted to go from grain, when there are generally from 70 to 80,000 quarters imported, part from the Tay, but the greater proportion is barley from the county of Norfolk. On the other hand, when the distilleries go from sugar, considerable quantities of that article are imported from Leith, and the ports of Glasgow and Greenock, London and Liverpool; and there are about 60 tons of wool brought coastwise from Leith for the woollen manufactories of this county.

There have also in former years, when all the ports of the Baltic were open to trade, considerable quantities of timber, iron, and other articles, been imported from thence. It is pleasing to observe, however, that the rapid improvements which have of late years been made in the iron manufactories of Wales and elsewhere in this kingdom, render this island in a great measure independent of foreign iron; at least for all ordinary purposes. There have been likewise of late considerable quantities of timber imported from the British colonies in America. The establishment of three packets, which constantly sail betwixt Alloa and Leith, and two which sail from Stirling to Leith, and which have met with great encouragement, are likely to prove of much benefit to this district of the country, from the low rates at which they transport goods.

SECTION VII. - The Poor.

The condition of the poor, and the provision made for them by the public, form a very important article in every statistical report.

Having offered so many observations upon the general mode of providing for the poor in Scotland, in the Stirlingshire Report, and nothing new occurring in the practice of this small adjacent county, it is deemed altogether unnecessary to swell this volume by a repetition. Though, by an act of the Privy Council, 1692, "The heritors and kirk-session are empowered to impose an assessment for the maintenance of the poor, the one-half upon the heritors, according to their valuation, the other upon the tenants, and householders, according to their ability," this pernicious method has seldom, to the honour and advantage of Scotland, been had recourse to in country parishes. Its general adoption would inevitably introduce a diminution of honest industry, an increase of dissolute paupers, and the total extinction of that laudable pride of independence, which is produced by personal exertion in procuring subsistence. Assessments are adopted in only one parish partially connected with this county.

Leaving, however, the general remarks on this subject which might be introduced, let it suffice to state the particulars which regard the different parishes of this county, as far as it has been practicable to ascertain them.

l. The parish of Alloa. - The sum expended for the support of the poor, for the year ending on the 31st December 1812 (exclusive of the ample provision made by Mr Erskine of Mar for the poor in his colliery) was L.452.

The sum was raised as follows:
1. From interest of money bequeathed by the late Lady Charlotte Erskine* L.44 0 0
2. From regular church collections at the parish church L.100 0 0
3. From an Extraordinary New Year's collection L.98 0 0
4. From interest of money, and from seat rents L.50 0 0
Subtotal - L.293 0 0
5. The remainder rose from proclamations, burials, etc. and from voluntary subscriptions of the heritors
and inhabitants of the parish.
Total L.452 0 0

* The interest of Lady Charlotte's money is only temporary, until sufficient room is procured in the church, for those who cannot otherwise be provided with seats.

The number of regular paupers was 126, besides about 60 families receiving occasional assistance. "This  liberal and voluntary support of the poor" adds Mr Maxton, "has prevented the necessity of an assessment, and we anticipate the continuance of the same humane and benevolent spirit."

2. The parish of Clackmannan. - The funds for the support of the poor arise from the interest of L.250 sterling, from the weekly collections at the church door, from fines for delinquencies, and from a general voluntary subscription of the heritors and inhabitants. The poor receive charity in proportion to their wants, which are estimated from time to time by the heritors and kirk-session. "Before they are admitted on the monthly roll, they are obliged to give into the treasurer an inventory of their effects, which, at their death, are disposed of for benefit of the fund, provided they have no children in need of them." a most proper regulation for preventing improper applications. On an average of 17 years, from 1777 to 1793 inclusive, the number of poor was 43, and the sum raised for their support L.120 15s. The number of poor, it is presumed, continues still nearly the same; the sum raised is probably greater.

3. Dollar parish. - The funds for the support of the poor arise from the interest of L.850 mortified on bond, and from the annual collections, which amount, on average, to L.10
The number of poor is 13.

4. Tillycoultry Parish. - The funds arise from the interest of L.212 mortified money, collections at the church door, (about L.12. 12s.) and profits from the use of the mortcloth, proclamations, marriages, and fines, the whole amounting to about L.30. The number of poor is 7.

5. That part of the parish of Logie which is situated in Clackmannanshire. - In this parish an assessment takes place of 8s. 4d. on every L.100 Scots of valued rent. The proportion of this that falls on the Clackmannanshire district amounts to about L.13. 9s.6d. The yearly collections arising from this district are calculated by the school-master at 1s. per week, or L.2. 12s. for the year. The number of the poor of this district is not stated; but it is reckoned that every pauper receives, on an avenge, annually, L.3. 12s. 6d. there is reason to conclude that about 4 belong to this county.

The number of the poor of Clackmannanshire, together with their annual income, will, therefore, stand thus:-

Parishes Number of Poor Capital Collections, etc. Total income in 1812
Alloa 126* L.1000 L.240 L.452
Clackmannan 43 L.250 L.0 L.150
Dollar 13 L.350 L.0 10s. 0d. L.27 10s. 0d.
Tillycoultry 7 L.212 L.12 12s. 0d. L.30
Logie in Clackmannanshire 4 L.0 L.16 1s. 6d. L.16 1s. 6d.
  193 L.1812 L.431 16s. 6d. L.675 11s. 6d.

From the above statement it will appear that, on an average, every pauper receives the annual sum of L3. 10s.

* Besides 80 families receiving occasional aid.

There are no houses of industry in this county, however necessary and advantageous such institutions might prove to the well disposed poor. In every district of this kind there ought also to be established a house of discipline, where the profligate might be restrained, and perhaps reclaimed. It has been stated in the Report of the adjacent county, "that many petty crimes and misdemeanours, which harass the public and individuals, pass unpunished, because they are not of such magnitude as to call the attention of the public prosecutor, whilst the private sufferer is rather disposed to submit to the injury than to incur the trouble and expence of a prosecution." What a benefit would it be to the country, and what a security to individuals in their persons and properties, were houses of discipline established in every district, under the direction of the neighbouring justices of the peace.

Box clubs, or charitable associations, for the relief of persons who have fallen into want in consequence of misfortune, disease, or old age, and who had formerly contributed the appointed rate to the common fund, are frequent in Scotland, and are not unknown in this county. No particular instance having fallen under the Reporter's notice, he cannot pretend to offer any detail.


SECTION VIII. - Population.

In the following table of the population of Clackmannanshire, the first column contains the name of the parish, the second and third, the volume and page of the Statistical Account of that parish by Sir John Sinclair; the fourth, the population in 1755, from Dr Webster; fifth, the population from 1790 to 1798, taken from the Statistical Account; the sixth, the population in 1801, from the enumeration taken under Mr Abbot's bill; the seventh, that taken in 1811, wherever it could be obtained; the last two columns shew the increase or decrease from 1755 till the period of the last emuneration.

Statistical Account              
Parishes Volume Page 1755 1790,1798 1801 1811 Increase Decrease  
Alloa VIII. 592 5816 4802 5214 5096 - 602 From 1755 to 1801
                720 From 1755 to 1811
Clackmannan XIV. 603 1913 2528 2964 - 1051    
Dollar XV. 155 517 510 693 - 176    
Tillycoultry XV. 189 787 909 916 - 129    
Logie in Clakmannanshire - - - - 1074 1162 88   From 1801 to 1811
Total - - 9033 8749 10,861 6258 1444 720  

Remarks on the preceding Table of Population.

1. The apparent diminution of the population of this county in 1790-1798, is to be accounted for, from the circumstance that the population of the Logie district (how amounting to 1162) was not then taken in.

2. It appears that the decrease of population from 1735 to 1801 amounts to 602, whilst the increase has amounted to 1828, leaving an absolute increase for the county of 1226 souls. The apparent discrepancy of this statement of the real increase, and that given in column viii arises from the impossibility of ascertaining the population of the Logie district in 1755. The total population of the county then may be taken at 10,861, with the addition of the increase of 88 in the Logie division from the year 1801, making in all 10,949.

3. The Reporter, when drawing up the Agricultural Survey of Stirlingshire, was not aware that, though the village of Cambuskenneth is situated in the parish of Stirling, it forms at the same time a part of the county of Clackmannan, and is subject to the jurisdiction of its sheriff. In estimating the population of Stirlingshire, therefore, it becomes necessary to deduct from it the number of 248 souls; which are stated with great accuracy, by Mr Galloway, schoolmaster of Logie, to belong to Clackmannanshire.

4. It will probably appear singular that the population of the rich parish and thriving sea-port of Alloa has decreased so much since 1755. The intelligent authors of the Statistical Account of that parish state that the population of the country part of the parish was increasing (1793) and that the diminution took place principally in the town of Alloa. With much appearance of probability, they ascribe this decrease to the failure of the great distilleries in the  neighbourhood, which purchased large quantities of malt from the town, in the making of which many hands were employed: and it is added, that about the same period the great cotton work at Downe, at the distance of 10 or 12 miles, was established, which induced many persons to emigrate, in quest of employment, from Alloa. The decrease, however, is more nominal than real, and is principally owing to this circumstance, that a number of colliers moved across the marches of the parish of Alloa into the adjacent one of Clackmannan, on account of being nearer their work, thus swelling considerably the increase in that district.

The population of the towns of Clackmannanshire may be taken nearly as follows :

Alloa 3000
Menstry 441
Black-Grange 49
Abbey of Cambuskenneth 248
Clackmannan 640

Of the other villages no accurate account has been obtained. With regard to the question, "Whether the district be over or under peopled?" the same remarks apply as have been made in the Stirlingshire Report, concerning the eastern district of the county. Both may justly be called well peopled districts. As to the healthiness of this county, and the mode of living, they are precisely the same as in the adjacent district of Stirlingshire.

N. B. Since writing the above, the Reporter is enabled to state that the actual population of Clackmannanshire, according to the government census of 1811, is 12,010, giving an absolute increase of 1061 from the year 1801, and of 2997 from the year 1755.

CHAP. XVII. Obstacles to Improvement

On none of the sections of this chapter, marked out in the plan of the Honourable Board, does any thing new or particular occur to be advanced. The whole circumstances of this county are so similar to those of Stirlingshire, that the reader is referred, on these subjects, to that Report.

In general, however, it may be noticed, with regard to Clackmannanshire, that the farms are, on the whole, of extent sufficient to afford scope for the industry and enterprise of the tenant.

The red or wire-worm, and slug, seem to visit this and the adjacent districts periodically. In 1808 they did considerable injury. This year (1813) for the first time since the above period, they have appeared again. In some fields in Perthshire, the Reporter observed myriads of the little brown snail (limax agrestis, Linn.) devouring the seed of the grain that had been sown, immediately after it had begun to spring. It remains under ground during the day. It issues from its hole soon after sunset, and retires to it after the sun has risen. The only effectual method of destroying this enemy of vegetation, as well as the slug, is to pass over the ground after sunrise, with a heavy roller. In this process many of the animals are crushed to death; and, what is perhaps of equal importance, their holes are covered and filled up; and finding no place of retreat, when the heat of the sun comes on, they perish.


SECTION I. Agricultural Societies.

About 28 years ago, a number of gentlemen in this district formed themselves into a society for promoting agricultural purposes, under the name of the Clackmannanshire Farmer Club. They meet four times in the year at Alloa. One of their first measures was to institute ploughing matches amongst the servants. From 40 to 50 candidates have started on these occasions. The first prize is a silver medal. Three or four small pecuniary rewards are bestowed on the next best, according to their respective merit. This was the first institution of the kind in Scotland; and the example has been successfully followed in many Other parts of the country. From this period may be dated the excellent ploughing that appears in this small county. Mr Hugh Reoch, tenant in Hilltown of Alloa, had the merit of first proposing these comparative trials, and of carrying them into execution; in doing which, he was warmly seconded by his brother farmers, as well as by his landlord.

Alexander Vertue, at that time a servant to a farmer in the parish of Clackmannan, gained the first prise at the first of these ploughing matches. And it seems to be worth while to record, in mentioning his name, that in summer 1793 he was sent for to his Majesty's farm at Windsor, where it was expected that he was to continue. He carried a plough with him from Scotland, and began to work in presence of his Majesty, and a number of noblemen and gentlemen. It was acknowledged that land so well ploughed had never before been seen in that country. Next morning, however, instead of being allowed to go to his work, as he had been desired to do the previous evening, he was told, "not to go near the King's farm at Windsor, on any account whatever, nor to have the smallest intercourse with any of his Majesty's farm-servants." After receiving a reward for his trouble, he left his plough, by special desire, and returned to Scotland. It is difficult to conceive how, in this instance, the jealousy of the English ploughmen prevented the salutary effects that might have been produced by the instructions and example of this person.

It has been objected to this institution of ploughing matches, that they have a tendency to make the successful candidates saucy and self-conceited, and ready to demand extravagant wages. These complaints, however, it is asserted, are not known in Clackmannanshire; on the contrary, competition has increased the number of good ploughmen, which gives the farmers a greater choice; and thus wages are kept within moderate bounds.

SECTION II. Provincial Terms.

There are no terms peculiar to this county, as far as the Reporter has had occasion to remark. The Scots dialect is spoken here nearly as in the Lothians.


Means of improvement, and the measures calculated for that purpose.

On this subject it does not appear necessary to enlarge. The husbandry of this county was in a very backward state till about the year 1763, when peace was restored; since which time improvements in agriculture have been carried to a very high pitch. The enterprise and knowledge of the landed proprietors are of a superior description; and it is to be hoped, and indeed it has already in a great measure taken place, that this spirit, and this knowledge, has been, and will be further disseminated among their tenants. To such enlightened agriculturists, therefore, the Reporter will not have the presumption to suggest the means of improving this district, of which they are incomparably better judges.


Letter from J. F. Erskine, Esq. of Mar, to Sir John Sinclair, regarding the extra expence of cultivating fields irregularly shaped, etc. etc.

Dear Sir, - I requested the favour of your allowing a plate of my farm of Lorns Hill to be inserted in Dr Graham's Agricultural Report of the small county of Clackmannan, in order to give me an opportunity of pointing out to young improvers, some of the errors which I fell into in inclosing and cultivating it.

That possession is now a beautiful Farm Ornee; and, from the various swells of the ground, has been much admired. About five and thirty years ago, the tenants gave up their farm in a very rude state. Those parts which had been ploughed were as much run out as their shallow slovenly labouring could make them. Being a novice in husbandry, I imagined that the move rugged parts could never repay the expence of dressing and improving them, but by planting; and as I intended to make it a grazing farm, thought that the crookedness of the fences would prove of advantage to it, by affording good shelter in every direction for the animals grazing in the several fields. My ignorance, however, prevented me from observing that the soil and sub-strata were such as would not admit of the grounds continuing long in grass; and I paid no further attention to the lines of the fences, but to suit them to the lying of the grounds, not being aware, that although their uncommon crookedness, however much it contributed to the shelter and beauty of the grounds, formed a great impediment to the plough, and really diminished the value of the farm, by adding considerably to the expence of cultivating it; for the various breadths of the head ridges, occasioned much time to be consumed in ploughing, sowing, harrowing, and reaping them. Wishing to obtain some idea of these extra expences, I desired the present tenant to give me his opinion of them; got two of the most intelligent overseers in this quarter to assist him in making the calculations; and having examined the South Muir, they agreed in estimating the extra expence as follows:

The extra expences of ploughing the South Muir, L 0 2 0 per acre
Ditto of harrowing, L. 0 0 6
Ditto harvesting, L. 0 3 0
Total extra expence, L.0 5 6 per acre.

Still anxious to get every possible information on this point, I applied to my late overseer, who managed my farm of Lorns Hill for many years, whose skill and practice I was well acquainted with. He sent me the following answer to some of my queries:

Sir, - Being honoured with your queries concerning the improvements in Clackmannanshire, particularly the mode of managing such soils as your farm of Lorns Hill. - I beg leave to state to you, that the crooked boundaries require a great deal of time to calculate minutely in the loss of time in sowing, harrowing, and reaping; the turning of the plough at the lands end takes half a minute, besides the loss of time before the plough-man can get his horses brought to their step of ordinary ploughing.

The calculations you sent me I take to be a pretty good guess; and supposing Lorns Hill farm in the rotation fifth, - 

Under a drilled, three times ploughed clean, and twice drilled, at 2s per acre for extra ploughing - 37 Acres £18 10s 6d

Harrowing ditto, three times, at 6d, for extra harrowing £2 15s 6d


Under white crop, viz. Wheat, Barley, Oats, etc. once ploughed, at 2s. per acre, for extra ploughing - 74 Acres £7 8s 6d

Harrowing ditto once, at 6d. per acre for extra harrowing £1 17s 0d

Harrowing ditto, at 5d. per acre extra £11 2s 0d

Under Hay - 37 Acres

Under Pasture - 37 Acres

Total £41 12s 6d

Although I have given a statement of the additional expence in labouring the farm of Lorns Hill, owing to the crookedness of the fences which bound the different fields, I at the same time am sensible of the benefit arising to the tenant from these irregular boundaries, as they afford great shelter for the farm stock, when in pasture, as well as draining the land, as they afford our lets for under drains, carrying off the surface water.

The way of managing green crops, upon soils of a retentive bottom, such as the farm of Lorns Hill, I would recommend, to prevent the succeeding crop from being hurt or injured by the poaching of the horses feet, to cart off the turnips during the winter months; and to avoid as much as possible turning the cart, either empty or loaded, particularly loaded, when carrying off the turnips from the field; but always study to keep along the line of drills, till you come to a head land, and endeavour always to clear 15 or 20 drills together; then run your double mould board plough between every drill, to draw off the surface water from souring the land, or to prevent that additional labour, when the above quantity of drills are cleared of the turnips, plough it neatly up in 12 feet ridges for receiving the seed. The narrowness of these ridges are of essential benefit to land of the above description; it prevents the rib of the ridge from being soured by surface water; and keeps the soil of equal depth, and the furrows draw air, which is a great advantage for a weighty crop, when inclined to lodge in the time of filling. By observing the above rules, I have always found it favourable for preserving crops in the harvest months, before the grain was cut down.

The mode of managing a potatoe crop upon such soils is as follows: After the repeated ploughings, I found the field required to bring it to a level and pulverized state, then prepared it for laying on the dung, by making it up into drills or single bout ridges,. After laying the dung between the ridges, and planted the potatoes above the dung,
I split the drills with the plough, and covered both up. The quantity of dung I give was from 18 to 20 tons of horse or cattle dung, and from 26 to 28 tons of ash dung. The quantity of seed varied considerably from the way the people manage in cutting their potatoes, especially the potatoes that had many eyes, making one eye to serve for every sett. But to suffice for a medium, I take the following. One chain in breadth, by 10 chains in length, of 100 links, or 74 feet, which makes a Scotch acre; supposing one chain in breadth to be about 30 drills of two feet six inches from centre to centre, and ten chains in length, each drill will, plant fully two pecks of seed, which will take from three three-fourth bolls to four bolls of seed, at 22 lib. Avoirdupois weight per peck, Alloa measure, the produce is at an average about 100 bolls, or from 20 to 25 in return from the seed planted.

The difference of expence between lifting potatoes from the ground with the prong or the plough is very little, where the land is well pulverized in dressing the crop; but where the land is neglected in cleaning with the horse-hoe, the plough will be cheaper by two or three shillings per acre; but it is much more favourable for the ground lifting with the prong than the plough, and in ridging up the land after for the succeeding crop; for the plough goes a little deeper than the prongs, which makes a solider body of land to stand out the winter blasts, and gets into a favourable state for receiving the seed to advantage.

I have often thought of these very improvements you, Sir, have suggested, concerning the cast metal for stances to stacks; 1st, The base of pillar being broad, with two or three holes in it for fixing it to a stone, where it ought be placed upon, rather than the bare ground, with a pin or piece of wood to fill the base or heart of the pillar to fix the frame; by which means one part of the work would bind and secure the kill-logies, (bosses) when placed upon the top of the pillars. The saving of grain, in adopting the above mode, is not easy ascertained, when every thing is taken into account. Such as the saving of straw and grain from the damp, as also poultry, rats, mice, besides the great advantage of inning grain so much ealier after cut down in the field. Had I an opportunity of harvesting grain with so much accommodation, when setting up the grain from the reapers in single sheaves or gaits, it would enable me to take it into the yard in ordinary seasons, in four or five days after being cut down, as I have always found myself served by using that method of harvesting crops under my charge, from the various soils and climates that I have had to contend with.

Concerning the breadth and depth of the furrow slice, upon several trials, I make the following remarks: The breadth of the furrow slice I consider severest for the horses; but it will differ much owing to the soil and state the land is in, when taken out of ley under the plough; besides it does not the same justice to the land.

Suppose a field of old ley were put under the plough;

1st, The ploughman begins his work with a furrow of nine inches in breadth; by and four a half inches in depth, when finishing the ridge.

2d, He starts with same horse to another ridge, making his slice eight inches in breadth, by five inches in depth. The horses, in performing the former, are a grat deal more put to, or require more exertions than when performing the latter, and is not of such advantage to the land; as it obviates, in the former, there is always a part of the subsoil on the furrow side, in the bottom of the furrow, remains fast unloosed by the sock; from which reason it requires more exertion to the horses, and so in proportion to the various breadth and depth the farmer may fix upon, as suitable to the soil he has to manage. But there is one thing I have omitted to mention in farming, their soils under the plough of a retentive bottom, and that is, that the miner follow the common plough when dressing such soils in fallow, or preparing for a green crop. The miner being a plough without being mounted with mould boards, as its use is to loosen the subsoil, but not to raise it, and in ploughing land with a clean furrow; it should always be observed to make the breadth of the furrow slice in such proportion to its depth, as the feather or share of the sock may sufficiently loose it when turned over by the mould board.

I have given you the substance of my late intelligent overseer's answers to some queries I had sent to him concerning our Clackmannanshire husbandry; for though many of them do not relate to the loss incurred from the crookedness of the fences, yet I think that his opinion concerning the mode of treatment of such soils as Lorns Hill farm may be of use to young improvers.

The sketch of the farm affords me likewise an opportunity of pointing out to the observation of the Board, some of the advantages accruing to the public and individuals from well directed roads. The farm of Lorns Hill lies at the distance Of a mile from the populous and thriving town of Alloa, and the great road leading to Stirling, which formerly just skirted the farm, had unnecessarily some steep, though short ascents, that rendered it requisite to give it a new direction. This fortunately run through the farm diagonally, and thereby gave it the advantage of being easily supplied with manure from Alloa to all the fields, in place of a few, which only could receive benefit from the old line of road. The tenant now lets 18 or 20 acres every year to its inhabitants for potatoes, who not only pay a good rent for the use of the land, but furnish a quantity of good manure, which is generally laid on at the rate from 20 to 30 tons per acre. The additional rent arising from this circumstance cannot be estimated at less than from five to seven shillings per acre.

The high rent, no doubt, arises from local circumstances; but good roads in every quarter must advance the Value of land more or less; and therefore the landholders ought to be obliged to contribute liberally towards defraying the expence of them. No doubt, several proprietors and tenants of the district through which they pass cannot be supposed to reap all, or even much of, the advantage attending their formation or improvement. As that must ever depend upon local circumstances, a jury ought to judge of the degree of it likely to be reaped from them by each individual, who should be assessed to pay a part of the cost of making them, only in proportion to the benefit they receive from them.

I am, etc.


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