Soils and Vegetable Produce, pp.xxii-xxiii.

[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]

The soils of Scotland, as might be expected from the peculiarities of its surface and geology, are often very various in even a single field, and much more in extensive districts. Yet they have, in many instances of both the excellent and the inferior, long and broad expanses of uniformity; and, while in aggregate character poorer than those of England, they vie in their rich tracts with the wealthiest in the three kingdoms, and have prompted and tutored, over their penurious tracts, a keenness of georgic skill, and a sturdiness in the arts of husbandry, which have made Scottish farmers the boast of Europe. The carses of Stirling, Falkirk, and Gowrie, most of the three Lothians; the Merse, Clydesdale, and Strathearn, large portions of Fifeshire, Strathmore, Annandale, Nithsdale, Kyle, Cunningham, and of the low grounds along the Moray and the Cromarty friths, and even some straths and very numerous haughs in the mountainous districts, are highly productive, and can bear comparison with the best tracts of land in England. According to Sir John Sinclair’s digest of the productive soils, or of those on lands fully or partially cultivated, the loams amount to 1,869,193 English acres, the rich clays to 987,070, the gravelly soils to 681,862, the cold or inferior clays to 510,265, the improved mossy soils to 411,096, the alluvial haugh or carse land to 320,193, and the sandy soils to 263,771, – in all, as we stated at the outset, 5,043,450 English acres. According to the same authority, the extent of plantations and of natural woods which existed at the date of the digest, on lands not included in this classification, was, of the former, 412,226 English acres, of the latter, 501,469, – jointly, 913,695. Plantations, since that period, have been raised to a vast aggregate amount on the waste lands, and disposed in innumerable tiny forests, clumps, belts, and rows, among the cultivated grounds. Pines are the most common trees; but, in later plantations, the hard woods, in many instances, prevail. Though agriculture has, in most districts, attained bold approaches to perfection, the crops, in the aggregate, are inferior in quality to those of England, and considerably more exposed to risk. Grain of the same weight, raised on Scottish and on English soils, differs in the proportion of the most valued elements; and fruit, according to its species, is richer now in Scotland and now in England, and of the same species widely varies as raised in the two ends of the island. A fair view of Scottish agriculture in its palmiest state, may be obtained by perusal of the agricultural section of our article on Haddingtonshire. The grand characteristics of the aggregate agriculture of the country are, in the words of McCulloch, “1st, The nearly universal prevalence of leases of a reasonable endurance, and containing regulations as to management, which, while they do not improperly shackle the tenant, prevent the land from being exhausted previously to the termination of the lease; 2d, The absence of tithes, and in most cases, also, of poor-rates, and of all oppressive public burdens; 3d, The prevention of assignment and sub-letting by tenants, and the descent of the lease to the heir-at-law; and 4th, The general introduction of thrashing-machines, and the universal use of the two-horse plough and one-horse cart.” The dairy commands attention principally in the counties of Ayr, Renfrew, and Dumfries. The annual produce of wheat is estimated in value at £1,650,000, or 660,000 quarters at 50s. per quarter; of barley, at £1,470,000, or 980,000 quarters at 30s. per quarter; of oats, at £7,171,875, or 5,737,000 quarters at 25s. per quarter; of potatoes and turnips, at £2,250,000; of flax, at £128,000; of garden and orchard produce, at £416,000; or the total of agricultural and horticultural produce, exclusive of pulse and the grasses, at £13,355,875. Pasture on arable lands is averaged at £2 per acre, and estimated in aggregate value at £4,979,450; and upland pasture, together with plantations and waste lands, is averaged at 3s. per acre, and estimated in aggregate value at £2,100,000. According to these estimates – which we borrow from Malte Brun and Balbi Abridged, as the most recent and a very intelligent publication – the total annual value of the land produce of Scotland amounts to £20,435,325. The gross rental of land, in 1811, was £4,792,243. 

   It has been estimated by the late Sir John Sinclair, and his calculations were confirmed by many of the parochial clergy, that the rental of estates in Scotland increased at least from two to three fold, from the year 1660 to the year 1750. This increased rental doubled previous to 1770, and in the next twenty years it again doubled. The rental had thus increased from eight to ten fold in one hundred and thirty years; and again, from 1791 to 1841, it had increased two-and-a-half times on the average of ninety-nine parishes taken indiscriminately to illustrate this increase, and of which a list is subjoined; and as Scotland contains only 919 parishes, it may be taken to have been general. The land-rental of parishes in Scotland, it would thus appear, has increased since the Restoration, in 1660, twenty to thirty fold; or about two thousand per cent.! 

County. Parish. Real Rental in 1791-6. Real Rental in 1832-40. 
    
 Kineller, £900 £3,000 
 Dyce, 350 1,140 
 Udney, 2,000 7,000 
Aberdeen, New Deer, 3,000 8,940 
 St. Fergus, 2,838 5,720 
 Lonmay 1,465 5,393 
 King Edward, 2,835 5,770 
    
 Ochiltree, 3,000 8,176 
 Ardrossan, 2,970 7,800 
 Dalry, 6,350 17,712 
 Dalrymple, 1,570 5,192 
 Dunlop, 3,000 7,864 
 Monkton and Prestwick, 2,000 4,509 
Ayr, Maybole, 346 2,400 
 West Kilbride, 2,528 9,662 
 Straiton, 3,000 9,000 
 Girvan, 3,200 12,000 
 Ballantrae, 2,000 7,465 
 Stevenston, 1,170 3,836 
 Old Cumnock, 3,000 8,000 
 Kirkmichael, 2,500 9,330 
    
Banff, Inveraven, 2,294 5,055 
    
 Swinton and Simprin, 4,030 8,000 
 Merton, 2,400 6,000 
 Eccles, 11,000 20,000 
 Longformacus, 1,700 4,000 
 Buncle and Preston Ellim, 3,200 8,000 
Berwick, Whitsome and Hilton, 3,080 7,526 
 Coldstream, 6,000 12,000 
 Nenthorn, 2,040 4,100 
 Polwarth, 1,000 1,730 
 Chirnside, 2,500 8,504 
 Edrom, 6,493 15,200 
 Cockburnspath and Old Cambus, 4,500 8,000 
    
 Wamphray, 1,900 4,000 
 Applegarth and SIbbaldine, 2,500 6,680 
 Tundergarth, 1,800 3,000 
 St. Mungo, 1,800 4,000 
 Ruthwell, 1,600 4,527 
Dumfries, Cummertrees, 2,800 8,000 
 Dornock, 1,700 3,300 
 Kirkpatrick-Fleming, 2,870 7,369 
 Hoddam, 2,668 7,000 
 Glencairn, 8,500 11,175 
 Holywood 3,000 7,436 
    
Edinburgh, Libberton, 10,000 28,000 
    
Elgin, Knockando, 2,000 3,000 
 Alves, 3,000 6,000 
    
Fife, Scoonie, 2,000 6,500 
 Denino, 1,157 3,123 
    
 Lochlee, 385 984 
 Craig, 4,000 9,500 
Forfar, Logie-Pert, 1,800 5,000 
 Glammis, 3,000 9,262 
 Carmylie, 1,000 3,000 
    
 Prestonkirk, 4,700 10,500 
 Dunbar, 8,000 23,400 
 Humbie, 2,700 6,300 
Haddington, Yester, 2,000 8,000 
 Dirleton, 6,000 10,227 
 Innerwick, 4,000 9,500 
 Bolton, 1,400 2,888 
    
 Garvock, 1,000 3,000 
Kincardine, Fordoun, 3,500 11,400 
 Laurencekirk, 2,000 5,775 
 Glenbervie, 1,000 4,300 
    
 Bothwell, 5,500 10,661 
 Carstairs, 2,000 5,000 
 Blantyre, 1,400 2,579 
Lanark, Culter, 1,600 5,200 
 Cadder, 6,000 14,000 
 Cambuslang, 2,850 7,897 
 Crawford-John, 2,500 5,925 
 Dolphinston, 600 1,700 
    
 Peebles, 3,000 7,000 
 Innerleithen, 3,000 7,298 
Peebles, Manner, 1,685 4,145 
 Kirkurd, 850 1,900 
 Newlands, 2,500 6,300 
 Linton, 2,350 6,560 
    
 Methven, 3,000 11,000 
 Meigle, 2,100 5,000 
 Rhynd, 1,600 6,000 
Perth, Errol, 8,000 24,000 
 Kenmore, 2,800 9,360 
 Comrie, 2,600 12,000 
 Culross, 3,000 6,289 
 St. Madoes, 900 4,000 
    
Renfrew, Neilston, 4,200 16,475 
    
 Robertson, 3,000 6,500 
 Makerston, 1,800 4,000 
 Linton, 2,113 5,514 
Roxburgh, Yetholm, 2,104 5,620 
 Crailing, 2,500 7,000 
 Hobkirk, 2,830 7,095 
 Eckford, 3,699 8,676 
 Ashkirk, 2,000 4,479 
    
 Whithorn, 2,000 9,000 
Wigton, Stonykirk, 3,169 12,000 
 Wigton, 2,400 4,500 
Total Rent of 99 Parishes, £287,139 £748,847 

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