Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
The Agriculture of the County of Renfrew


By Alexander Macdonald, Sab-Editor, North British Agriculturist, Edinburgh.
[Premium~ez_mdash~Twenty-Five Sovereigns.]

Introduction.

The small industrial county of Renfrew has a circumference of some 80 miles. With an area of about 254 square miles, it stands twenty-seventh among the thirty-three Scotch counties, and in order of valuation it ranks sixth. Its total acreage is 162,428, of which 2021 acres are foreshores, and 3621 acres covered by water; while it has a gross valuation of 676,101, inclusive of railways and other public undertakings. Of the land area nearly two-thirds are under cultivation, the remainder being hill grazings, waste grounds, or occupied by buildings and lying between 55 40' 40" and 55 58' 10" N. lat., and 40 13' and 4 52' 30" W. long., the county assumes an irregular oblong form, the axis of which runs parallel to the river Clyde. It skirts Lanarkshire on the east and north-east, Ayrshire on the south, and it is separated from Dumbartonshire on the north and Argyllshire on the west by the Firth of Clyde.

It embraces sixteen parishes~ez_mdash~which we shall have occasion to name afterwards~ez_mdash~inclusive of small portions of Beith and Dunlop parishes attaching on the south side, and Govan on the north-east. Though somewhat uneven, its surface is less rugged than that of the neighbouring counties. There are no hills of sufficient height to rank as mountains. The southern and western districts, however, are interspersed with lochs and mosses, and dotted with hills of various heights. Four peaks in the parish of Eaglesham average well-nigh 1000 feet, but the loftiest summits are Mistylaw and Hydall, in the parishes of Lochwinnoch and Kilmalcolm, the former rising to 1663 feet and the latter to 1244 feet above sea-level. Irrespective of height, the most clearly defined ranges are those of Fereneze and Gleniffer, which extend from Levern Valley, in Neilston, through the Abbey parish to the western border of Lochwinnoch. This formation renders the climate generally moist, though by no means severe. To the scenery, too, it lends variety, and the county is thus possessed of something more than objects of mere historical interest. It participates in the finest of Scottish scenery, and from several of the hills, notably those in Inverkip and in the neighbourhood of Greenock, magnificent views are obtained.

Like most maritime counties, Renfrewshire might be classified in two divisions~ez_mdash~low-lying and upland~ez_mdash~but agriculturally it resolves itself more strikingly into three districts; that is to say, its agricultural resources can best be described as we find them regulated by the elevation, character, and quality of the land. The three divisions~ez_mdash~hilly, gentle-rising, and the flat~ez_mdash~ differ materially not only in character of surface and soil, but also in the modes of farming adopted. The hilly district is chiefly bleak moorland, the gentle-rising division embraces many well cultivated as well as good pastoral farms and finely-wooded heights, while the flat district, known locally as the "Laich Lands," has for many years produced magnificent crops of grain, fodder, and roots.

As may be inferred from the fact that as late as 1872 there were no fewer than 3215 proprietors, the land is still pretty largely divided. In that year 148,679 acres, valued at 396,655, 16s., were owned by 657 proprietors of 1 acre and upwards, while 2558 owners of less than 1 acre shared among them 1242 acres, having a united value of 165,155, 7s. This estimate was substantially corroborated by a statistical return in 1879, which shows that 155,321 acres, with a total gross rental of 990,898, were divided among 5735 proprietors. One owner held 24,951 acres, with a rental of 14,801; two together owned 27,775 acres, yielding a united rental of 27,059; one 6500 acres valued at 5562; thirteen possessed 44,625 acres, of which the total rental was 65,977; eight shared 12,128 acres, and a rental of 28,963; seven held 4793 acres, worth 17,972; and ninety derived 174,018 from their united possessions of 19,651 acres.

Historically, Renfrewshire is peculiarly interesting. It has given to Scotland some of her most valiant defenders, including the heroic Wallace, and stands prominent in history as one of the ancient residences of the Stewarts. In 1164 it was the scene of a desperate battle occasioned by the rebellion of Somerled~ez_mdash~the Lord of the Isles~ez_mdash~against King David I. The engagement took place near the Knock, when the brawny men of Strathgryffe (the ancient name for Renfrew), under the command of High Steward Walter, are said to have routed the troops of Somerled and killed their leader. A similar affray occurred in the reign of Alexander III., when Haco, king of Norway, who landed near Largs with an army, suffered a crushing defeat. Nor, unfortunately, was this all. Victory was not always assured. The men of Renfrewshire, who tools part in the defence of Queen Mary, were repelled by the invading troops of Regent Murray at Langside in 1568. And this was followed by a similar rebuff in 1685. In that year a protracted struggle occurred near Inchinnan Bridge between the troops of King James VII. and some 1500 discontented Scots from abroad, led by the Marquis of Argyll. The Marquis was captured, brought to Edinburgh, and executed; but this did not prevent his little army from accomplishing their purpose. They entrenched themselves in the neighbourhood of Hill Port, and with marvellous valour and persistent fight ultimately succeeded in annihilating the king's troops. This result may be said to have ended the troublesome times of the inhabitants of the county, and they have since then, or rather since the Union, to which they were reluctant in acceding, devoted themselves to peaceful arts and manufactures. They have established one of the most extensive shipbuilding trades in the empire, and their ships plough the waves of every sea. In other industries, too, they occupy a first place. Their manufactures are prized at home and abroad, and have made for themselves a name in the "far-off islands of the sea."

Renfrewshire is studded with towns and populous hamlets, the former numbering twelve and the latter about thirty. The only royal burgh is Renfrew, which, together with Port-Glasgow, returns a member to Parliament. Paisley and Greenock have each a representative in Parliament, while the county returns two members to St Stephen's. One of the most striking features of the county is the large number of mansions which adorn its sylvan slopes and vales, and the thriving appearance imparted to it by the innumerable handsome residences recently erected by Glasgow gentlemen.

There is no lack of facilities of transport. The county is well supplied with roads, railways, and navigable waters. It is intersected by several main public roads from Glasgow, and is provided with railway communication by both the Caledonian and Glasgow and South-Western Companies. The bed of the old Glasgow and Paisley Canal has been converted into a rail

way; but a considerable traffic connected with the agricultural, as well as the industrial institutions of the county, is carried by steamboats on the Clyde.

A large number of streams and lochs and a considerable extent of moorland are to be met with. Renfrewshire affords good grouse and lowground shooting, and many anglers are to be seen on the streams, though the sport is not very great. At one time the rivers afforded good sport, but now they are largely rendered destructive to fish life through pollution from public works. The principal rivers are the "White Cart, the Black Cart, and the Gryffe. The first named rises in the south-east corner of Eaglesham, and flows in a northerly direction, and after receiving numerous "feeders" unites with the Black Cart and the Gryffe at Inchinnan Bridge, and falls immediately into the Clyde. The Black Cart has for its source Castle Semple Loch, and is largely increased in its north-easterly course by the influx of several streams. Rising on the north side of Creuch Hill the Gryffe has a course of about 20 miles, and yields good fishing, but is not open to the public. Among the other streams are the Calder, which rises in the Hill of Stake, and after a run of 8 miles empties itself into Castle Semple Loch, yielding trout varying in weight from to 2 lbs. each; the Earn, rising mainly in Binnen Loch, a 7 miles long tributary of the White Cart; and the Daff, a little stream in the parish of Inverkip, &c.

The lochs are numerous but not large. Castle Semple Loch, in Lochwinnoch, is 2 miles long by 1 broad; Brother Loch and Black Loch, in Mearns, are each about 2 miles in circumference; Loch Libo, in Neilston, covers about 16 acres; Long Loch, between Mearns and Neilston, is about 1 miles long by 1 miles broad; and Loch Thorn, in the parish of Inverkip, is 1 miles long by 1 miles broad. Besides these are Loch Binnen and Goin, in Eaglesham; Queenside Loch, in Lochwinnoch; and several large reservoirs, such as Stanley and Harlaw, for supplying the various towns with water. The lochs occasionally yield good baskets of pike, perch, eels, and trout of moderate size, while salmon are sometimes to be got along the shores of the Clyde.

The little western county is well wooded. Ancient records denote that it has been so from a very early date, and there has always been a tendency among proprietors to maintain their plantations creditably. Very little new land has been laid under wood for many years, but the old plantations have been well managed, and, excepting garden land and shrubberies, there are at present 5424 acres occupied by trees. Orchard grounds extend to 53 acres, having increased 16 acres since 1884. There are 135 acres of land used by market gardeners, or 4 acres less than in 1884; while 69 acres are occupied by nurserymen for the propagation of trees and shrubs.

Population.

Though of comparatively small extent, Renfrewshire contests with Edinburgh the distinction of being the most densely populated county in Scotland, each giving as many as 1075 persons to the square mile. At last census (in 1881), the western county contained in all 263,374 people, of whom 226,073 inhabited towns, 19,044 villages, and 18,257 rural habitations. The number of inhabitants at the end of each decade since 1791 was as follows:~ez_mdash~

A steady and substantial increase is thus indicated, there having been an enormous advance of 200,521 during the past ninety years. This is mainly due to the development of the industrial resources of the county; but its choice situation and scenery, and its growing importance agriculturally, have contributed not a little to the same end. Of the entire population in 1881, 126,743 were males and 136,631 females. These were divided into 54,622 families, occupying 52,703 houses. Some 3319 males and 1371 females were connected with the civil and military service or professions, 1141 men and 7623 women were domestic servants, 9958 men and 294 women were connected with commerce, 3572 men and 934 women were connected with agriculture and fishing, and 49,681 men and 21,734 women were engaged in industrial pursuits, or dealers in manufactured goods; while there were 39,345 boys and 38,900 girls of school age. And to pursue this interesting analysis still further, 7741 men and 15,547 women of those employed in industrial handicrafts were engaged in the manufacture of textile fabrics, and 7986 men and 172 women were connected with the working of mineral substances. Some 3284 men and 920 women were engaged in farming alone, and 813 farmers employed 865 men, 393 women, 118 boys, and 290 girls. The Parliamentary constituency for the present year (1886) is~ez_mdash~ Eastern Division, 8295 ; Western Division, 7750.

Climate.

As Greenock has from time immemorial been noted for excessive rainfalls, it is natural to suppose that the county embracing it should be generally moist as regards climate. As a rule, rainfalls are heavier and more frequent on the banks of the Clyde than in the eastern counties, and the causes of this are not inexplicable. The prevailing winds blow from the southwest, and Renfrewshire, on account of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as of its hilly character, gets a lion's share of the rain. The watery clouds on the eastward sweep are broken up by the hills, to which it is believed they have a peculiar attraction, and rains that might otherwise be carried further inland are thus retained in the west. Excessively wet weather is often a hindrance to the agriculture of the county, especially at seedtime and harvest; but the lower districts, as already hinted, seldom fail to produce good crops of grain, roots, and hay~ez_mdash~better than many drier and equally fertile parts of the country. Though wet, however, the climate is not peculiarly cold, and a greater variety of crop is cultivated than in most districts. When autumn or spring sowing is deferred, harvest is sometimes rather late, but in ordinary circumstances, crops in the "laich lands," at least, come to the reaper about the same time as those in the central counties. Further up, it varies from a week to a fortnight later, and sometimes more, but the higher reaches are less dependent on crop-growing than the lower. Of course, the date of harvest is regulated by the character of the summer ~ez_mdash~ whether wet or dry, cold or warm. Like other counties, Renfrewshire has its meteorological vicissitudes. A lengthened spell of dry weather sometimes occurs, and is succeeded by a similar period of all but constant drizzle. Winter is not so stormy as nearer the interior of the country; still intense frosts are frequently felt; and they sometimes linger long into spring in the upper districts, retarding field operations.

Through the kindness of Mr Buchan, Edinburgh, we have been allowed to make a few extracts from unpublished records of the Scottish Meteorological Society, regarding the temperature, atmospheric pressure, and rainfall, as registered at different parts of the county. They are exceedingly interesting, and have an important bearing on the subject proper of my treatise.

The first statement shows the mean monthly and annual temperature, and atmospheric pressure, at three different elevations above sea-level.

The third table shows the mean annual rainfall for different periods, at various points, together with the calculated mean rainfall for twenty-four years~ez_mdash~from 1860-83:~ez_mdash~

Geology.

The geological formation is of some interest and importance. It shows a somewhat remarkable development of volcanic rocks belonging to the Lower Carboniferous period, while it embodies an important series of Coal-fields, situated to the north of the volcanic area, between Houston and the eastern border of the county at Rutherglen. The upper division is almost wholly intersected with trap, and this rock also appears in other parts of the county. It belongs to various species, viz., porphyry, greenstone, claystone, wacke, &c, and a coarse conglomerate known as osmondstone. Much of it is of a rotten friable nature. A narrow band of Old Red Sandstone extends round the western end and up the northern border until within a short distance of Port-Glasgow, but this variety of stone has not been found elsewhere. The Coal Measures in the lower division, to which we have referred, underlie an immense depth of earth, chiefly deluvial clay. Mine shafts have in some instances been sunk through as much as 40 feet of a superincumbent deposit, though at certain points the coal lies nearer the surface. The minerals found are of a varied character, including sandstone, limestone, aluminous schist, ironstone, bituminous shale, and trap.

Soil.

Renfrewshire contains a larger variety of soils than many more extensive counties. All the cropping land is of excellent quality, while its lowland grazings are not to be equalled almost anywhere. The land lying between the Clyde and a line running south from Landbank to Kilbarchan, and thence east to Hurlet and Cathcart, is, practically speaking, flat. The soil is composed of a deep alluvial clay, intersected towards the centre by an extensive tract of peat moss, supposed to have been deposited in brackish water at the same period as the Carses of Stirling and Gowrie and a large part of Haddingtonshire, the estuary of the Clyde having extended at that time from 5 to 6 miles above Glasgow to Newton, where there are three well-defined terraces, seemingly formed by the water having remained stationary for some considerable time. Like the Carse of Stirling, some parts of the "laich lands" are covered with a considerable depth of peat moss, which, as will be subsequently seen, is gradually being brought under cultivation. There are still three detached mosses, however, unreclaimed~ez_mdash~Barrochain, Dargavel, and Linwood, whose united area extends to several hundred acres. The undulating portions of Cathcart, Eastwood, and Abbey parishes consist of a strong clay inclining to sharpness, but their southern boundary is depreciated by the prevalence of cold inferior clay.

The "gentle-rising" district, though in some places hard, is mostly good useful land. Near river channels, as in the "laich lands," there is a wealth of rich deep loam, and though chiefly used for pastoral purposes, it is sufficiently good to yield heavy crops had the climate been more suitable. The subsoil comprises a mixture of gravel and stiff clay, the latter predominating in many parts.

The "hilly district," overlying a subsoil of gravel and disintegrated volcanic rock, is largely composed of light land. Here and there it is good, being slightly intermixed with moss; but its composition, together with the climatic influences of the district, adapts it more for pastoral or dairying than arable farming.

Except on the banks of the Clyde, no traces of animal remains have been found. Taking the town of Renfrew as a centre, however, with a radius of 6 or 7 miles, we form a semi-circle embracing land of exceptional richness, by far the best cropping land in the county. This line includes all the land south of the Clyde, extending from midway between Langbank and Bishopton stations to Bridge-of-Weir, Kilbarchan, and across the Fereneze Hills between Neilston and Barrhead to Bushby. Outside that line the bulk of the land is devoted principally to grazing for a distance of from 3 to 5 miles, while all the higher lying land bordering on Ayrshire is essentially a sheep farming district.

The State of Agriculture prior to 1860.

Since the introduction of improved farm machinery and means of communication, great progress has been made in the agriculture of the county. This will best be shown by a passing reference to the state of the farming matters as they existed early in the century.

The county was at one time parcelled out to a much greater extent than it now is or has been for many years. In the end of last century, for example, there were no fewer than seventy-five properties ranging in value from 100 to 6000. Fifteen exceeded 1000, while a considerable extent of land was shared by proprietors possessing under 100 per annum. About the close of last century, however, several important changes took place in the ownership of land. One of the largest estates was transferred to a new owner, and many small ones were consolidated through the extension of larger properties. Well-nigh half the proprietors acquired their lands by purchase within the last forty years of the eighteenth century, the extent of land involved amounting to nearly one-third of the whole shire. These changes led to an enhancement of the revenue of the county, and between 1795, when there were in all close on four hundred people owning land worth from 10 upwards, and the year 1810, its total valuation rose to 126,000.

Farms, as a rule, were small, and not so well supplied with houses as those of most other Scottish counties. Farm buildings were exceptionally long in assuming the convenient forms of more modern times, and prior to 1830 few steadings were slated. In 1795 rents generally varied from 20 to 150, there being rarely any holdings exceeding 100 acres in extent. Early in the century grazing farms increased rapidly, reaching in several instances 200 acres. In the higher reaches of the county some holdings approached 500 acres by the advent of 1800, and rents advanced by leaps and bounds. The average rental in 1795 was about 10s. per acre, but within ten or fifteen years it had increased to fully 18s. Rents were then as now extremely variable, ranging from 2s. an acre up to 5. Farms were held generally on leases of nineteen years, and in many instances for longer terms. Shortly after the close of the century, however, many proprietors limited the lease to ten or twelve years with much acceptance to the tenantry.

The tenants were generally bound to keep two-thirds of their farms under grass in order to allow the soil ample rest, but with this exception no hard and fast rules were laid down for the (regulation of cropping. Farm implements were pretty much in keeping with the age of which we write. Some sixty or seventy years ago the old timber Scotch plough began to give place to the iron implement of Berwickshire origin. The first threshing-mills were introduced about 1796, but the flail retained its hold for long after that date. These mills cost about 50 each, and were capable of threshing six quarters of grain per hour. Dairying was carried on to a considerable extent, and the utensils in use for this purpose were in some respects believed to be peculiar to the county. Some of the churns consisted of vertical boxes, and the end of the churn staff was attached to one end of a lever, by which the churn was worked after the fashion of a hand-pump. This system of butter making, however, was greatly improved upon by the introduction of a large horizontal churn, driven by water or horse power. The horizontal churn, in consequence of its more equable and constant motion, threw off butter of very superior quality to, and greater quantity than, the more antiquated upright churn.

The early habits of farmers in the matter of land tillage were somewhat lax. Late in the eighteenth century it was customary to delay field operations till the season was too far advanced for the successful cultivation of crops. This absurd practice continued until a comparatively recent date, traces of ancient sluggishness having been observable so late as the second decade of the present century. In the rotation of crops no particular system was followed. Farmers had the utmost freedom in this respect, but in the upper district two successive crops of oats were generally followed by barley, hay, and three years' grass. Before being ploughed the lea land was generally manured with dung, or an admixture of earth and lime. In the lower division the system of rotation differed but little from that of the higher district, but the six-course shift was if anything more fashionable. Last century an eight-course shift was no uncommon thing. In 1795 it consisted of (1) oats, (2) fallow, (3) wheat, (4) barley, (5) beans and pease, (6) oats, (7) hay, (8) pasture.

The principal cereal crops grown were oats and barley, but wheat, beans, and pease were also cultivated in small quantities. From 2 bushels to 6 bushels was the general allowance of seed oats per acre; from 2 to 3 bushels for barley; and wheat was seeded at the rate of about 4 bushels. Oats yielded from 48 to 60 bushels per acre; barley, 36 to 48; wheat, 48 to 72; and beans and pease, 30 to 48 bushels. Only a small extent of land was put under green crop. Clover was never sown as a crop, and turnip husbandry was all but unknown, so late as 1812. Carrots and cabbages were raised on a small scale, while patches of flax met the eye in various parts of the county, notably in the parishes of Lochwinnoch and Kilbarchan. Potatoes, however, were cultivated with great success. They were introduced about 1700, and seem to have been cultivated on the most approved principles from the beginning. The ground allotted to their growth was repeatedly ploughed and manured in the drill with from 40 to 60 cart-loads of Glasgow manure, which cost from 2s. 6d. to 3s. per load. When potatoes were first introduced, the seedlings were planted further apart than they are now, and generally yielded from 48 to 50 bolls per acre.

The cultivated land of the county was largely interspersed with extensive tracts of waste and moss ground, the greater part of which has been brought under the plough during the past fifty or sixty years. About the beginning of the century some 13,800 acres, or nearly one-eleventh part of the shire, was held in common among the farmers, but the practice was early abolished, to the advantage, it is said, of all concerned. In reclaiming the mosses and other uncultivated lands, a great deal of draining had to be performed. The drains used were either the narrow open casts, or narrow close drains filled with small stones. They varied in depth from 2 to 3 feet, according to the nature of the soil. On the flat carse grounds wide, sloped, open ditches were extensively used to good purpose.

The manurial supplies of the county consisted chiefly of lime and dung, no marl having been found within the county. Compost was seldom made until comparatively lately, and lime, which was chiefly imported from Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, cost 16s. per chalder of 16 bolls. The average amount of lime applied varied from 6 to 8, and in exceptional cases reached 10 chalders per acre; and it was estimated as early as 1812 that at least 12,000 worth of lime was annually used in the county, exclusive of the expense of carriage in bringing it to the fields. Glasgow, Paisley, Greenock, and Port-Glasgow were the principal sources of dung.

One of the first things to raise the value of property was the inclosure of land. Renfrewshire agriculturists were amongst the first to take advantage of fencing, and there was less to do in this direction after the advent of the present century than in almost any other Scotch county. The inclosures in the arable district usually embraced from 5 to 12 acres, but in the higher districts they considerably exceeded that estimate. The higher districts were cultivated only to a very limited extent. They lay mainly under natural pasture, while the same may be said of fully three-fourths of the middle division. The lower parts were more under the control of the husbandman. Here natural pasture was early broken up, and amongst other crops a considerable extent of hay was grown. A common allowance of seed ran from 4 to 6 lbs. of clover and about I bushels of ryegrass, the average yield ranging from 200 to 250 stones per acre.

The most neglected work on the farm was the "weeding" of land. The importance of cleaning was ill-understood, and couch grass and thistles and other pernicious weeds were allowed to sprout and spread unheeded, greatly to the injury of the crops.

To complete the " contrast," we shall briefly refer to the early resources of the county in live stock. Dairying appears to have been the chief object of the farmer's attention from time immemorial. The cows were speckled or spotted in colour, weighing from 4 to 5 cwt., and their produce was mainly disposed of in Glasgow, Paisley, and Greenock in butter and butter milk. There were few cheese dairies. These were devoted almost solely to the manufacture of Dunlop cheese. The Alderney breed of cows was introduced in 1780, and crossed with the Dutch breed and native cattle. They yielded richer cream, but a smaller quantity of milk than the native breed, and the latter were thus preferred. In some parts of the county the practice of letting cows for the whole season was adopted, the rate about 1812 being from 13 to 14 per cow. Sixteen or seventeen years previously, however, the letting rate was as low as from 6 to 7 each cow. The average yield of milk was estimated at 7 Scotch pints (about 12 imperial quarts) per day, and that of butter at about 4 lbs. per week, for six months. The old system of management differed considerably from that of the present time. The cows were fed in the house through the winter, and generally allowed a few hours " airing " every forenoon. Farmers seemed careless as to the importance of accumulating as much manure on the farm as possible, but no sooner had they become alive to its value than the ancient practice began to die out. The cows' rations in the winter months consisted chiefly of oat straw with a small allowance of potatoes, boiled with chaff or chopped straw. Hay was usually substituted for the straw as the calving season approached, and the supply of potatoes increased, while a little grain, meal, seeds, and dust were generally added. Cows ranged in price from 15 to 21, heifers from 3 to 10, and calves from 1 to 1. 5s.; while from 10 to 15 was a common price for a bull. The calves were chiefly sold to butchers at about 10s. a-head, but it would have been for the advantage, it is said, of the farmers had they reared more cows than they did. Few cattle were fattened for the butcher.

Sheep farming was long greatly neglected. Much remained to be done in managing this branch of husbandry after almost all other branches had been tolerably well improved. The sheep were mainly of the blackfaced breed, and inhabited the more elevated parts of the county. A Mr John Smith from Roxburghshire, farmer, Millbank, Erskine, was singled out early in the century as the most enterprising sheep farmer, having fed annually for several years from 300 to 400 Highland sheep on turnip fields. In 1810, some 500 merino sheep were imported from Spain, and did well in Renfrewshire. They soon spread widely over the county. They yielded rather more wool of a much finer class than the original breed of the district, and brought good prices in the lean market~ez_mdash~for breeding purposes. Fifty rams realised an average price of 15, and 200 ewes brought about 10 each, sold by auction, the purchasers being mostly men of the neighbouring counties. Had such fine wool-producing sheep been more extensively used and carefully managed, it is believed a powerful impetus would have been given to the industrial trade of the county, and that a large expenditure of money obtained by wool-producers in other parts of the county would have been pocketed by the farmers of the west.

That great attention was devoted to the rearing and management of draught horses may be accepted as a matter of course. No county evinced an earlier or more ambitious predilection for powerful, active sound-going agricultural horses than Renfrewshire. Some eighty years ago, 40 guineas and 50 guineas were common prices for farm horses. A pair ploughed at the rate of a Scotch acre per day, and in carting over good roads a ton was the usual burden imposed. They were fed on oats and oat straw during winter, and on pasture and cut grass through the summer and autumn months. Carters' horses were allowed hay, oats, and beans. The use of oxen, either for ploughing or carting, had been long abandoned before the advent of the present century. Few pigs or poultry were kept.

The cost of labour in those days was very small, compared with that of to-day. Still, during the first ten years of the century, it increased very rapidly. In 1804, men servants, exclusive of their board and house room, received 15 per annum ; women servants, 6; day labourers, 1s. 11d.; women, in harvest, per day, 1s. 8d. During the next six years these rates had increased nearly a third, and other items of labour became correspondingly dear. The cost of reaping an acre of corn, for example, was computed at 12s., while the threshing of it cost about 3s. 6d. per qauarter. Ploughing and harrowing per acre cost from 1 to 1, 10s. mowing hay, 4s. to 5s.; digging the ground, 4 to 6 ; and a day's work of a horse and cart, with driver, 7s. to 8s. The hours of labour were similar to those of the present time.

Progress of the Past Twenty-five Tears. Notwithstanding the progress made prior to 1860, a great deal of useful work has been done since then. Land that was formerly utterly barren has been converted into a productive state; houses that were all but uninhabitable have been swept away; and fields of ungainly and awkward shapes have been advantageously transformed.

It is estimated that from 400 to 500 acres of moss and swampy land has been reclaimed since 1857 ; while a large extent of cultivated land has been increased in value by means of draining, liming, and fencing. About 100 acres of sterile moss, in the neighbourhood of Paisley, belonging to Lord Dunglass, were taken by the Cleaning Department of the Glasgow Corporation in 1879, on a lease of thirty-one years, at a nominal rent. Immediately on acquiring the land, the Corporation began draining it. The drains were cut as deeply as the soft nature of the ground would permit~ez_mdash~4 spadings in the main, and 3 in the common drains. This partially dried the ground, and after a few months of summer weather, the drains were deepened to the requisite depth~ez_mdash~5 feet. The man who took out the last spading laid the tiles as he proceeded, and to prevent them from rising through the pressure of the sides of the drain, the lad who handed him the tiles immediately placed a sod on them and stood on it. The tiles used were of the dwarf-flanged description. When properly laid they are less liable to choke than other kinds of tiles. The flat wooden sole and common horse-shoe tile have been sometimes used in similar reclamations, but the floating fibre catching upon the wood sometimes chokes the drains. The drains were cut 16 feet apart, and the moss was carefully subsoiled,~ez_mdash~the original surface being kept on the top. The sods were broken by means of hoes; a squad of the Glasgow "unemployed" having been engaged for the purpose. The land was heavily top-dressed with road scrapings containing a large percentage of lime, but no additional supply of new lime was allowed. The draining cost about 20, and subsoiling and hoeing about 10 per acre. Such an expensive reclamation is seldom undertaken, but it is wise, if the subject in hand is good, to do the work thoroughly. It often happens~ez_mdash~and it seems to have been the experience of the Glasgow Corporation~ez_mdash~that the costliest work is the cheapest in the end. The Corporation's land in its original state was utterly worthless, and now it is valued at from 30s. to 40s. per acre. Within a year after the work was begun, it was placed under potatoes, and also in the following year, the seed having been planted solely by manual labour. These two crops firmed it, so that it would bear horses shod with leather and gutta-percha sandals in the third year, and it is now under regular cropping rotation. In the results of the reclamation, the most hopeful anticipations have been realised, a satisfactory profit having already been obtained from the land.

The new land is of greater value to the Corporation than it would have been to an ordinary tenant, affording as it does an outlet for the scrapings from the macadamised roads of the city, which forms an excellent dressing for mossland.

Similar improvements have also been carried out on other estates in this neighbourhood, though not so recently as those just referred to. Some thirty years ago, Mr Spier of Black-stone reclaimed the moss of that name, converting 130 acres of bleak dormant earth into good active soil. About the same time another waste, called Plantation Moss, extending to about 40 acres, was fertilised and put under crop. Since then, too, the spirit of improvement has been actively at work in other districts. Kilmalcolm Farm, Hillside, for example, has been enlarged by the addition of some 50 acres of new ground, and improved by the draining of swampy and coarse pasture land. In the parish of Neilston Mr Robert Holms reclaimed some 70 acres, and besides these vast improvements have taken place in the condition of cultivated land. In every district of the county a great deal of draining and top-dressimg has been done. The introduction of the railway lent a powerful impetus to cultivation. It opened up access to the manurial repositories of Glasgow, Paisley, and Greenock, and these have been widely taken advantage of by farmers. City manure has been extensively used for many years with good results.

Some twenty-five or thirty years ago the wet marshy meadows which met the eye in several districts had to be cut by the scythe and gathered by means of a hand-rake. Since then, however, they have been largely drained, and sown down with timothy and other valuable grasses, and cutting is now performed mainly by sowing machines, which were partially unknown twenty or thirty years ago.

But before going further we shall see what progress really has been made in the direction of extending cultivation. In 1857 there were 75,151 acres under cultivation, including bare fallow and grass; in 1868, 86,531; in 1874, 89,493; in 1881, 94,339; and. in 1885, 95,529. There has thus been a steady and substantial increase during the periods indicated. Since 1857 the cultivated area appears to have increased no less than 20,378 acres. It may be explained, however, that the statistics for that year did not include holdings under ten acres in extent, But since 1868 there has been an advance of 8998 acres, which, spread over the seventeen years from 1868 to 1885, show an annual gain of fully 529 acres. During the past four years the cultivated area has developed at the rate of close on 300 acres per annum; but, of course, these figures give no indication as to whether crop-growing has increased or diminished.

The statement on page 18 shows the extent of the several parishes, together with their valuations in different years, and gives the results of the recently improved area of the county.

The table exhibits a remarkable advance in the valuations of most of the parishes. Down to 1879 every parish made distinct progress, with exception of Inchinnan and Abbey. These decreased 3122, 4s. 4d. and 9218, 11s. 2d. respectively. Such diminutions are somewhat extraordinary, but they are not due to strictly agricultural causes. It will be observed that the value of Inchinnan parish made an enormous bound between 1861 and 1870 ; and that, notwithstanding the striking fall referred to, its valuation in 1879 was considerably above that of 1861. The parish of Abbey, whose loss occurs between 1861 and 1870, recovered itself, and resumed progress before the advent of 1879. Six parishes have decreased in value since 1879, the fall in the case of Greenock being no less than 30,366, 16s. 8d. It will be seen, however, that the Greenock parish made quite an exceptional rise between 1870 and 1879 ; but after all, the present valuation is less even than either that of 1861 or 1870. The other parishes which have fallen off are Houston, Inchinnan, Beith, Dunlop, and Renfrew. The last-named parish has decreased 7277, 12s. 3d. since 1879; but the fall in other cases mentioned is comparatively trifling. It would be difficult to account with certainty for the decline of recent years, more than for the striking fluctuations prior to 1879; but we suspect the depreciation in the value of land has had something to do with it.

Despite the fluctuations which we have shown, however, the total valuation of the county has nearly doubled since 1861. Net increase, 369,940, 17s. 7d.; since 1870 it has advanced 304,032, 9s. 9d.; and since 1879 it has increased 31,214, 10s. 1d. In live stock, too, distinct progress has been made. The stock have responded satisfactorily to increased attention, and more liberal treatment on the part of owners; and to-day the county takes a more prominent stand in the "battle of the breeds" than ever it did before. Little or no alteration has occurred as regards the breeds of stock kept; but it is worthy of note that Border Leicester sheep have obtained a footing on several farms.

Details of Improvements and Systems of Management.

It was recently my privilege to visit a number of leading farms and estates in the county, and to make personal inquiry as to the improvements carried out, as well as to the prevailing systems of farming, and this, together with elaborate correspondence with landlords, factors, and farmers, enables me to give under this head one of the most interesting sections of my report. I have before me, moreover, the information obtained by Mr James Hope for the Royal Commission in 1880, and will thus briefly refer to the methods of management adopted on the principal estates and many of the leading farms in the three divisions of the county.

The Hilly District.

This district forms by far the largest division. It includes the entire parishes of Inverkip, Greenock, Port-Glasgow, Kilmalcolm, Eaglesham, Mearns, and the greater part of Neilston and Lochwinnoch, as well as portions of several mainly lowland parishes. The medium elevation is from 500 to 600 feet, but being largely composed of disintegrated trap rock, the soil where sufficiently deep is fertile~ez_mdash~generally light active land. It is worthy of remark, however, that Inverkip, though farmed similarly to the neighbouring parishes, contains an entirely different class of soil from that of the East Garvock Hills. Much of the lower lands lie on Old Red Sandstone, and a good piece of grazing land is scarcely to be found. The soil, although apparently fairly good and firm, conceals a large amount of water which is very difficult to remove by under-drainage. As a result of this, crops are much later than one would anticipate from its low situation and proximity to the sea. The rainfall is heavier here perhaps than in any other part of Scotland~ez_mdash~ certainly the wettest part of Renfrewshire. It ranges annually from 45 to 65 inches, and is very evenly distributed over the year. The district is almost entirely devoted to dairying and sheep farming, the former constituting the staple occupation.

The greater part of the hilly district is owned by Sir Michael Robert Shaw Stewart, Bart. His possessions, the largest in the county, extend to some 25,000 acres, of which 11,000 are arable, 12,910 pasture, and 1090 woods and forests. They have been considerably improved during the past twenty or thirty years by draining, building, and reclaiming; and, as a rule, the tenants pay interest on the money expended by the landlord in drainage. The estate comprises in all 99 farms, which may be classed thus~ez_mdash~2 above 1000 acres in extent, 3 from 500 to 1000 acres, 27 from 200 to 500 acres, 29 from 100 to 200 acres, 17 from 50 to 100 acres, 14 from 20 to 50 acres, and 7 under 20 acres. These are usually held on lease, with 40 days' notice to quit, but judicious liberty is given to tenants in the management of their farms so long as they conform to the rules of good husbandry. The rents of arable land vary from 20s. to 35s. per acre, and are all fixed and paid in money. Up till 1880 they increased from 15 to 20 per cent.; but it was generally considered that the additional accommodation required by the tenant exhausted any advantage to the landlord which the rise gave. Since then, some liberal concessions have been made (including 10 per cent. reduction on the farm rents of the half year), and the tenants have all along obtained assistance in lime and manure when such were needed. No noteworthy change has occurred in the system of farming over these estates since 1860, but it is freely admitted that the agriculture of the district has vastly improved since then. The six-shift rotation is the one usually adopted, but tenants are encouraged to let their land lie as long under pasture as possible. The crops grown consist of oats, a little barley, potatoes, turnips, and hay; while milk, potatoes, oats, and hay are the descriptions of produce generally sold. Farm stocks comprise Ayrshire cattle, blackfaced sheep, Clydesdale horses and pigs of various sorts. Cattle and sheep are pretty extensively bred on the estates, but comparatively few are fattened.

The parish of Kilmalcolm is an extensive district in which mixed husbandry is carried on. It contains some very good farms, and one of these is the farm of Dennistown, tenanted by Mr John Thomson. Comprising fully 130 acres, it is rented at 35s. 6d. per acre. This, however, is far above the average rental of the parish. The soil is light and friable, overlying a sandy " till" or gravel. This class of soil predominates over the district, but it is here and there intersected with swampy flats and peat moss in the valleys. Along the sides of the River Gryffe, which drains the entire length of the parish, fine loamy soil prevails of considerable depth. These level parts have almost all been drained by the proprietor within the past few years. On Dennis-town farm the eight-course shift is followed, viz., oats after lea, potatoes or turnips, oats, ryegrass-hay, and pasture for four years.' Oats yield 30 bushels per acre, weighing from 38 to 40 lbs. per bushel; potatoes from 6 to 8 tons, turnips about 15 tons, and hay 1 tons. The stubble land is ploughed in October and November, and allowed to lie thus exposed all the winter. It is harrowed well, and ploughed again between the middle of March and the first of May, as opportunity occurs. Mr Thomson prefers second ploughing to grubbing for two reasons~ez_mdash~(1) because the rock is so near the surface that the grubber tines are extremely liable to be broken or bent, and (2) because the land is in a better state for sowing after being ploughed. Being for green crop, it is manured with from 20 to 25 cubic yards of farm-yard dung, or about 30 tons of police manure, supplemented with from 2 to 3 cwt. of bone phosphates or special manure, according to the quality of the dung applied. For Champion potatoes, the dung is usually ploughed down, at the rate of from 30 to 40 cubic yards, during winter, and 1 cwt. of phosphate guano, 2 cwt. bone phosphate, cwt. sulphate of potash are added just before planting in spring. The more economical way, however, of manuring in the drills, is adopted for other varieties of the favourite esculent, less artificial manure being required than when the dung is ploughed down in winter. When the dung is applied in winter, it is liable to be brought to the surface again, and partly wasted by second ploughing in spring, but to prevent this, Mr Thomson drills the stubbles (what is sometimes termed "ribbing"), which covers the dung without burying it. In spring it is harrowed with a common harrow across the drills, and then ploughed down. This is a very exceptional system of preparing land for potatoes, but it is one which thoroughly answers the purpose.

Since 1860 the proprietor has erected a handsome steading on this farm, free of interest, the tenant doing all the cartage. All the interior fences have been rooted out, and the fields rearranged and fenced anew. A good deal of land has been drained at the mutual expense of the landlord and tenant. As regards live stock, the farm is well plenished. The dairy stock are let to a bower or dairyman at 15, 10s. per cow per year. The owner supplies the bower with turnips, bean meal, bran, hay and straw for the cows. The calves, except those that are required to keep up the stock of cows, are sent to the butcher as soon as they are dropped. The produce of the dairy is sent to the market every morning in the shape of sweet milk, cream, and skim milk; and what is not disposed of is churned, and the butter milk is sold. This system is widely adopted in the county. A few Leicester sheep are kept on the farm, being summered in the grass parks, and wintered on pease and oats, and hay when necessary. Excepting a few reserved for breeding purposes, the lambs are sent to the butcher in June and July, and the aged ewes are similarly disposed of in November.

Along the south-western border of the county are the estates of Carrath and Garthland, the property of Mr Macdowall. Carrath covers some 1600 acres of Kilmalcolm ; while Garthland, comprising about 1000 acres, lies within the parish of Lochwinnoch. The former consists of 800 acres of arable land, 90 acres pasture, 650 acres hill and moor, and 60 acres of woods and forests. The smaller estate is made up of 300 acres of arable land, 250 acres of meadow, 275 acres of permanent pasture, 100 acres of moorland, and, 70 acres of woods. Dairying and sheep farming are the distinctive features of the agriculture on this property. The latter is not largely pursued, there being only one farm on the Garthland estate and three on Carrath. The soil of the latter estate is of a sharp light character; but there is a variety of land on the Lochwinnoch estate~ez_mdash~rich loam, heavy clay, sharp gravel, and moorland. Some important changes have occurred since 1860, the landlord having expended money liberally in increasing the comfort of his tenantry. He has rebuilt many old fences, without interest, but on drainage improvements he advanced money at 6 per cent, A good deal has recently been done in the way of improving the farm buildings. On Carrath there are eight farms, two of which range in size from 200 to 500 acres; while three extend from 100 to 200 acres, and three from 50 to 100 acres. Garthland comprises only three farms, two of which range from 100 to 1200 acres in extent, and one is less than 100 acres. These holdings are tenanted on a lease of nineteen years, without stipulation as to notice to quit, and the tenants usually implement the full conditions of their leases. Rents on Carrath average about 17s. 6d. per acre for arable land, 1, 15s. for pasture land, and 3s. 6d. for hill and moorland. They are dearer on the Lochwinnoch estate. Arable land averages about 1, 15s.; pasture, 2, 5s.; hill and moorland, 7s. 6d.; and meadow, 1. All the rents are fixed. The conditions of entry are similar to those prevalent on many other Scotch estates. The incoming tenant takes over the farm-yard manure at valuation on entering the farm, and has to accept valuation of the same on leaving. The way-going tenant has to leave the farm in a certain rotation. There has not been much alteration made recently on the systems of farming on the estates; but on the heavy soil at Garthland there is less green cropping now than formerly, owing to the exceptionally wet seasons of late years, the manure being to a large extent ploughed down with lea. The crops grown are oats, potatoes, turnips, and hay, the course of rotation pursued being the seven-years' shift. Dairy produce, potatoes, and hay are the principal commodities sold off the farms. The stock kept are the same as those on the estate of Sir M. E. Shaw Stewart. Cattle are bred for keeping up the dairy stocks, but very few for sale. A considerable number of both cattle and sheep, however, are fattened on the pastures.

The farm of Netherhouses, in the parish of Lochwinnoch, in conjunction with the adjacent farms of High and Low Barford, and other grass lands on the estates of Garthland, Lochside, Castle Semple, Auchengrange, &c, were occupied till Whitsunday 1886 by Mr William Bartlemore. Their united area is about 250 acres, all arable, mostly under pasture. Latterly a good portion of Barfords has been devoted to the growth of timothy hay, which has become a favourite and remunerative crop in the county. The farm of Bourtrees adjoins that of Netherhouses, and these two holdings have been owned and occupied by the Bartlemore family for upwards of a century. It is noteworthy that this family are a branch of the Patons of Swinlees, in the adjoining parish of Dairy, Ayrshire, whose name is inseparably associated with the breeding of Ayrshire cattle. The Patons rank amongst the most successful breeders of the renowned dairy breed, and the Bartlemores seem to have inherited not only their fancy, but also much of their enthusiasm. During the past eight years Mr William Bartlemore has been one of the most prominent breeders of Ayrshires in the county. In 1884 and 1885 his animals won over 500, exclusive of plate and medals, and that in the hottest fields of competition at the Scotch and English National Exhibitions, at the London Dairy Show, and at the leading shows in the west of Scotland.

The soil on these farms is chiefly of a clayey nature, intersected to some extent with patches of heavy loam, admirably adapted for grazing purposes. The average rental, including the adjoining grass lands, is 38s. per acre. A dairy stock is kept at Netherhouses, The produce until recently was sold as cheese, but Mr Bartlemore found it more convenient and profitable to send the milk daily to Glasgow. A small portion of the farm was tilled for corn and root crop ; but the major part was grazed by sheep, store cattle, and back-calving Ayrshire cows. For about thirty years prior to his death in 1883, the late Mr Robert Bartlemore, a former tenant of these farms, was an extensive grazier. His total rental in 1880 was about 560. He kept ten or a dozen cows, whose produce was made into cheese, but his principal pursuit was grazing. He grazed about 250 head of cattle every year, and occasionally a few scores of blackfaced ewes, with cross-bred lambs. One-fifth of the cattle were home-bred Ayrshires, due to calve in the months of October and November; while the remainder were mostly bought in lean in spring. These were largely purchased at Muir-of-Ord and other northern markets. He found north country cattle to do well with the change of climate and keep, and they seldom left a smaller profit than from 4 to 6 a head, sometimes more. In 1879 the margin was considerably diminished by the increased value of lean stock, but even that year was not unprofitable. Any cattle bought after spring were generally brought from the islands of Skye and Islay. The ewes were purchased in the month of October, and mated with a whitefaced tup, and both they and their lambs were sold off fat as early as possible next year.

Great improvements have been effected on these farms during the past thirty years. They have all been thoroughly drained with common tiles and soles, and the open ditches and water runs which formerly intersected the farms have been tile-laid and covered. The landlord paid for the tiles and their carriage, and the tenant cut and filled the drains at his own expense. The quality of the land has thus been greatly improved, while much good work has been done since 1860 in fencing.

On the farm of South Halls, also in the parish of Lochwinnoch, dairying is more exclusively practised than on Netherhouses. The dairy herd includes some twenty animals, and it is mainly maintained by home-breeding. In his report to the Royal Commission in 1880, the tenant, Mr John Harvey, stated that he obtained 500 gallons of milk from each cow per annum, which was equivalent to 14 per head. His average outlay in food not grown on the farm approached 5 per cow, the material used consisting of, as a rule, bean and Indian meal. For the work of twenty cows he employed two female servants, whose united wages, besides board, was about 35. When he entered the farm some twenty-two years ago, the same class of servants cost only 4, 10s. each, which represents an advance, notwithstanding the downward tendency of recent years, of about 50 per cent. since 1863. The dairy produce is sent to Glasgow as sweet milk, and in the summer of 1880 he got 7d. per gallon for it, which was the highest price going. Out of that return he paid one penny for railway carriage, with the result that 250 gallons during summer brought him a clear return of 6, 6s., and a like quantity in winter realised 8, 6s. 8d., which made the total return per cow up to 14, 12s. 8d. The gross annual sum received for milk amounts to about 290, while he usually disposes of eight cast cows each year for about 144, and this sum, together with about 150 for timothy hay, represents the entire revenue of the farm. He ploughs as little land as possible, because the cost of labour and manure would, in addition to rent, leave him no profit.

Pursuing our north-western course, we next enter the parish of Neilston, in which both agricultural and pastoral farming are pretty largely carried on. One of the principal farmers in this district is Mr John Holm, Japston, who holds no fewer than three farms, with a united area of 450 acres. Of these 250 acres are arable, and 200 acres pasture, each holding varying in rent according to the quality of the land. On one holding the tenant pays 60s. per acre, another 33s., and another 20s. for arable land, and the pasture ranges from 10s. to 15s. The soil is of a mixed clayey character, and the climate is late and moist. Mr Holm ploughs very little, having adopted the system of irrigating meadows with satisfactory results. The principal odder crop grown is timothy hay, which, together with other varieties of hay, usually occupies about 60 acres each year. Only some 25 acres are devoted to the growth of oats. Generally speaking, however, there is abundance of straw produced on the farm, but the grain is usually light. For the turnip and potato crops the land is ploughed in the autumn, and grubbed in spring, and is dunged chiefly with farm-yard manure. Turnip land gets a little nitrate of soda in addition to the dung to start the young plant, which is often stiff in coming away. A good many improvements have been executed on this farm since 1860. Over 2000 have been expended by the landlord and tenant together in building, draining, fencing, &c. The landlord erected an excellent steading, free of cost, and drained extensively, charging the tenant 5 per cent. interest on the latter. The farm of Japston, like that of Netherhouses, has long been creditably connected with the breeding of Ayrshire cattle, for which the tenant has won many distinguished prizes at local and other shows. The dairy cows on this farm, and also in the surrounding district, are liberally fed with bean meal and bran. A little draff is used where sweet milk is the main product; but in this immediate neighbourhood the milk is nearly all churned, and disposed off in the shape of butter and butter milk.

The system of farming in this district has not changed materially since 1860, but less land is ploughed, and more timothy hay grown than formerly.

In the same parish is the farm of Caplaw, tenanted by Mi-Matthew Templeton. It embraces 300 acres, is wholly arable, and is rented at about 20s. per acre. Since 1860 the rent has increased about 40. Lying at an elevation of from 600 to 750 feet above sea-level, it comprises mossy light soil, and is worked under a six-course shift, viz., oats, potatoes and turnips, oats, hay, and two years' grass. In good seasons crops yield well, but, as a rule, the grain is light in weight and dark in colour. Land for green crop is fallowed in autumn. In spring it is ploughed, harrowed, and grubbed, and again harrowed until a good tilth is secured. The manure, mostly dung, is applied in the drill for both turnips and potatoes. Since Mr Templeton entered the farm some six years ago a considerable portion of it has been drained and fenced, while by a better system of agriculture generally he has enhanced its value. The landlord, moreover, repaired houses, and built some new ones, the tenant performing the cartages. Ayrshire cattle are kept, and until the last two years above twelve calves were reared annually. The only stock fattened are cows that become unfit for the dairy, and these when fat weigh from 3 to 5 cwt. each. Besides the cattle reared on the farm, a good many cows are from time to time bought in to keep up the dairy herd In summer the cows are fed on grass, and in winter they receive a liberal allowance of boiled food, oat straw, hay, turnips, and bean and linseed meal, and bran. They are fed three times a day, excepting newly calved cows, which get a few turnips about mid-forenoon and again in mid-afternoon. This system of feeding allows the animals ample resting time, which is an important point in stock management. The, dairy produce is sold in Paisley in the form of butter and butter milk. No sheep are kept, but the pasture is occasionally let for wintering hoggs, for which the usual remuneration is 6 per score. The farm work is performed by four horses, three of which are Clydesdales. In replying to the Royal Commission inquiries in 1880, Mr Robert Gillespie, farmer, Boylestone, stated that he owned a herd of forty dairy cows, valued at 20 per head. About twelve cattle were reared annually on the farm, while some twenty were bought in. The yield of milk per cow was about 8 imperial quarts per diem, and it was sold as milk. He neither made cheese nor butter. Keep for each cow cost about 14 per annum, the half of which was grown on the farm. The annual sale of milk, which was delivered to the purchasers on the farm, yielded about 700, and the sale of cast cows 200; but, with exception of about 100 bolls of corn, these constituted the entire marketable produce of the farm.

An important change in the system of farming in this district since 1860 is the production of winter milk, which many people believe does not pay the farmer. Another change is the reduced area of land devoted to the growth of potatoes, for which there has been inadequate demand of recent years. Though ameliorations have been effected more or less on every farm, there is still a great deal of land in need of improvement. Additional draining would be of great service, while much of it might he limed and fenced with advantage to all concerned. Irrigation, where practicable, suits the district well, and would be more extensively adopted if sufficient water supply could be obtained.

The estate of Eaglesham, with an area of some 16,000 acres, belonging to Mr Allan Gilmour, comprehends almost the entire parish of that name. Excepting 160 acres of wood, it is equally divided between arable, permanent pasture, and hill land. Three branches of farming are thus practised within it,~ez_mdash~corn-growing, dairying, and sheep farming. It contains forty-four farms, several of which are very extensive. Four holdings are over 1000 acres in extent; two range from 500 to 1000 acres, nine from 200 to 500, twenty-three from 100 to 200, five from 50 to 100, and one is less than 20 acres. Some improvements have been carried out on all the farms within the past twenty or thirty years, draining, which was the principal work, being executed at the landlord's expense, the tenant paying 5 per cent. on the outlay. They are held on leases of nineteen years, though not subject to any strict regulations as to cropping. No particular rotation is thus followed. The crops consist of oats, green crop, oats, and hay, followed with from four to eight years' grass. The average rental of hill pasture runs from 3s. to 8s. per acre, arable land being held at from 20s. to 50s. During the thirty-five years preceding 1880, rents increased 30 per cent., but since then both permanent and temporary reductions have been granted. There has not been much done in the way of enclosing land of recent years; still the land is tolerably well fenced. Several thousand acres of moorland are enclosed. The tendency of the past ten or fifteen years has been to increase the extent of permanent grass, and save labour and risk of crop-growing. Almost the only produce sold is dairy produce, sheep, and lambs. Crops yield irregularly, the return of oats varying from 35 to 45 bushels, turnips from 12 to 20 tons, potatoes from 3 to 6 tons, meadow hay from 2 to 3 tons, and mixed seeds 2 tons per acre. The live stock consists of Ayrshire cattle, blackfaced and Cheviot sheep, Clydesdale horses, and a few Berkshire pigs. Few sheep or cattle are fattened.

On the Eaglesham estate, Mr James Mather occupies 150 acres, which is the extent of the farm of Waukers. With exception of 10 acres of meadow, the holding is entirely arable, and is rented at 2, 13s. per acre. Only some 10 acres are broken at a time, and it is cropped thus:~ez_mdash~oats, green crop, oats, hay, and six years' grass. The land yields fair crops as a rule, oats weighing from 37 to 40 lbs. per bushel. Land for turnips and potatoes is prepared in the usual way, and is manured entirely with home-made manure. The farm has been skilfully managed, and by the combined enterprise of the landlord and tenant, substantially improved during the past twenty-five years. The landlord drained the greater part of it, the tenant paying 5 per cent. interest on the outlay. The farmhouses were repaired solely at the landlord's expense. Ayrshire cows to the number of forty are exclusively kept for dairy purposes. They are principally fed with boiled and raw turnips and potatoes, along with draff and bean meal and other artificial stuffs. The dairy produce is wholly sold in Glasgow as sweet milk.

Middle District.

The middle or "gentle rising" district is less than one-half the extent of the division we have just described. It embraces the parishes of Cathcart and Eastwood, with parts of the parishes of Abbey, Kilbarchan, Houston, Erskine, Inchinman, and Renfrew; and as regards diversity of surface, is one of the most beautiful districts in Scotland. It has been thus described:~ez_mdash~ "Little gentle hills gently swelling in endless variety, interspersed with various coloured copses, often watered at the bottom by winding rivulets, in different and changing forms, meet every turning of the eye; and few inland views perhaps surpass in richness and variety those which present themselves from the top of every one of those gentle eminences which are so beautifully scattered around the town of Paisley."

The two small parishes of Eastwood and Cathcart form the" extreme eastern corner of the county, and resemble each other closely as regards farming. The farm of Shaw Moss, containing 260 acres, and tenanted by Mr Alexander Aitkenhead, in a manner combines the two. It extends into both parishes, and is one of the most important farms in the district. It comprises sandy loam soil and a sprinkling of moss, and was rented at 620 in 1880. Formerly it was held on a lease of ten years, but for some time past the lease has been abandoned. The farm is essentially a crop-growing one, and though the four-course shift~ez_mdash~oats, turnips, oats, and hay~ez_mdash~is the system adopted, the tenant is not restricted to any particular rotation. Stock breeding is not practised; horses, cattle, and pigs being bought in and sold as required. Some 50 is annually spent in artificial feeding stuffs, while artificial manures are used to the value of 100. The thrashing of grain is done by steam power. In the early part of his tenancy Mr Aitkenhead made extensive improvements in draining and solidifying moss land. He also made several new roads, and erected a considerable stretch of fencing. The gross annual cost of labour on the farm has risen about 10 per cent. since 1870.

The estate of Hawkhead [This estate has been sold, mostly in allotments, since the above was written.] ~ez_mdash~though mainly in the parish of Abbey~ez_mdash~also extends into the parishes of Neilston, Eastwood, and Renfrew. It comprises some 4400 acres, of which 3650 are arable, 550 pasture, and 200 under wood. The soil is partly stiff loam and light sharp land, the former resting on a subsoil of clay, and the latter on freestone. The property is divided into some twenty-six farms. Ten range from 50 to 100 acres in extent, ten from 100 to 200, five from 200 to 500, and one from 500 to 1000 acres. Improvements have been extensively carried out during the past twenty-five years. The landlord expended the money required in the work, charging the tenants interest on fencing and draining. The farms are held on leases of nineteen years, but no regulations as to cropping are strictly enforced. Rents vary considerably. Arable land is let at about 40s., and pasture at about 15s. per acre, the average rental being about 37s. 6d. These are all payable in money. During ten or twelve years preceding 1880 they increased about 10 per cent. The way-going tenant gets payment for grass seeds sown with the last corn crops, and also for all farm-yard manure made on the farm during the last year of his lease. Within the past twenty years the agriculture of this estate and district has advanced very greatly. This is observable in every phase of farming. The land of the county generally has improved as regards cleanness, while creditable progress has been made in the live stock of the district. Most of the tenants on this estate work their land under the five-course rotation, viz., oats, green crop, wheat, clover hay, and pasture, but less land is cropped than was the case a few years ago. They are allowed to sell the produce of their farm unrestrictedly, and, as a rule, good crops are raised. The average yield of wheat in good years is about 5 quarters per acre, while 4 quarters is a common return of oats per acre. Turnips yield about 15 tons per acre, and potatoes, which are more irregular than other crops, vary in yield from 4 to 10 tons. Of clover hay 2 tons per acre is about an average return.

One of the leading tenants on the estate is Mr William Bowie, Blackbyre, who farms 257 acres of arable land in the parish of Abbey. It is worked under a four-course rotation, the crops grown being oats, potatoes and turnips, wheat, clover hay and pasture. The rental is 565. Ayrshire cattle are kept purely for dairy purposes. During summer they are fed in the house, principally on grass, supplemented with feeding stuffs. In winter they get turnips, hay, bean meal, brewers' grains, and bran. About 200 per annum is spent in artificial feeding stuffs, while artificial manures are used to the value of 100. As this is one of the best farms in the district, we have ascertained approximately the cost per acre of the production of each crop grown on the farm. It is as follows:~ez_mdash~the rental in each case being 47s., and the rates and taxes 1s. 3d. per acre~ez_mdash~ Oats~ez_mdash~seed, 20s.; manures, 40s.; cultivation and harvesting, 40s.; labour (including threshing and marketing), 10s.; and sundries (including tradesmen's bills), 5s. Potatoes~ez_mdash~seed, 60s.; manures, 10 ; cultivation, 7; labour, &c, 40s.; sundries, 15s. Turnips~ez_mdash~seed, 5s.; manures, 8 ; cultivation, &c, 5 ; labour, &c, 20s.; sundries, 12s. Wheat~ez_mdash~need, 25s.; cultivation, &c, 40s.; labour, &c, 10s.; sundries, 5s. Glover Hay~ez_mdash~seed, 20s.; manures, 10s.; cultivation, 10s.; labour, &c, 10s.; sundries, 5s. The average crops vary in quantity and value according to circumstances. During the four years ending 1877 oats yielded on average 7 quarters of grain, 240 imperial stones of straw per acre, the value of the former being 8, 8s., and the latter 6. In the same time wheat yielded 5 quarters of grain, and 240 stones of straw, which sold at 11 and 7 respectively. In the year 1878 the return of oats reached 7 quarters, for which the tenant realised 9. The yield of fodder was the same as before, but the price had fallen to 4, 10s. Wheat was exactly the same as before in yield, but 10 only was obtained for the grain; and the relatively smaller price of 4, 10s. for the straw. The yield of oats in 1879 fell to 5 quarters, which brought 6, 17s. 6d., straw being the same in weight and value as in 1878. Wheat too suffered a reduction of fully a third both in yield and value, except in straw, which maintained its previous years' weight and value. Since then, better crops than those of the disastrous year of 1879 have generally been raised, but the financial return per acre has greatly diminished during the past two or three years. Hay yields about 2 tons per acre, turnips about 10 tons, and potatoes 4 tons. The prices of these commodities are variable; but Mr Bowie gives the following as the average prices per ton of a few years past:~ez_mdash~hay, 3, 15s.; turnips, 1, 15s.; and potatoes, 7. The productiveness of the farm has been improved since 1860 by draining, while the farm buildings have been extended and repaired. The outlay in draining was defrayed by the landlord, the tenant paying interest at the rate of 6f per cent., while building operations and improvements were mutually performed. The servants employed by Mr Bowie are engaged partly by the year, by the week, and by the day, and the cost of labour approaches 3 per acre~ez_mdash~considerably less than it was some ten years ago.

Mr William Park, formerly tenant of Gallowhill, which is also in the Abbey parish, gave the Royal Commission some useful information regarding the farm of that name. It extends to 100 acres, consists of medium soil, and was held by Mr Park on a fifteen years' lease, which terminated in 1883. It was worked on the four-shift rotation, and rented at 340, while the rates and taxes amounted to about 20. The conditions of lease were closely enforced, which restricted the tenant to a certain course of cropping. This he considered a hindrance to profitable farming. He used artificial manure on the farm to the value of about 100 yearly, while he expended a similar sum in feeding stuffs. The cost per acre of the production of crops was approximately thus:~ez_mdash~Potatoes~ez_mdash~seed, 4; manures, 14; cultivation and harvesting, 6; labour and marketing, 2; and sundries, 5s. Turnips~ez_mdash~seed, 5s.; manures, 10; cultivation, &c, 4; labour, &c, 4; and sundries, 4s. 6d. Wheat~ez_mdash~seed, 30s.; cultivation, &c, 50s.; labour, &c, 17s.; and sundries, 5s. Oats~ez_mdash~seed, 20s.; manures, 35s.; cultivation, &c, 45s.; labour, &c, 17s.; and sundries, 5s. Hay~ez_mdash~seed, 20s., manures, 35s.; cultivation, &c, 17s. 6d.; labour, &c, 16s.; and sundries, 5s. The average yield per acre, and value of same, during a period of twelve years ending 1880, he roughly estimated as follows:~ez_mdash~Wheat~ez_mdash~6 quarters of grain, and 2 tons of straw, the former realising 45s. per quarter, and the latter about 55s. per ton. Oats~ez_mdash~9 quarters of grain, for which he obtained 24s., and straw 1 3/4 tons, for which he realised 45s. Hay~ez_mdash~2 tons sold at 85s. per ton. Turnips~ez_mdash~25 tons sold at 20s. Potatoes~ez_mdash~6 tons realised 5 per ton.

Pursuing our central route, we next enter the parish of Kil-barchan, To represent the landed interests here we select the estates of Blackstoune and Milliken, both belonging to the same owner. They extend to about 1500 acres, and are nearly all arable. Only about one-sixth lies under permanent pasture, and the still smaller portion of about one-fiftieth part is devoted to the growth of trees. The soil is principally light and kindly, with a few farms inclining to heavy clay, and a small proportion of cultivated moss land. The reclamation of the latter has taken place within a comparatively recent time. The landlord performed the work, and in some instances charged the tenant interest thereon, but not always. Farms are held by lease. The conditions thereof are restrictive as to cropping and manuring. They are not usually enforced, however, in the case of good tenants who manage their land carefully. The estates are divided into twenty-two farms. Three farms range in size from 200 to 500 acres, ten from 100 to 200, eight from 50 to 100, and one from 20 to 50 acres. The rental per acre ranges from 3, 10s. in the case of the deep loam, to 2 in that of the light kindly soil, and it is wholly paid in money. It has increased considerably since 1860, and farms let recently easily enough at former rents. The letting value of land is estimated first by the quality of the soil, and secondly by its facilities as to markets and convenience for supplies of manure. On these estates, as well as throughout the parish generally, agriculture has advanced considerably since 1860, and the land is generally clean and well managed by industrious tenants. It is not a great stock breeding district, only a few Ayrshire cows being bred for dairy purposes. Various systems of rotation are adopted, but the five-course shift prevails, viz., oats, green crops, wheat, hay, and pasture. Potatoes were at one time more extensively grown than they are now. The average yield of wheat is about 4 quarters per acre ; oats, 5 quarters ; and beans, 4; turnips, about 16 tons; potatoes 6 tons; meadow hay, 3 tons ; and ryegrass and clover, 1 tons. Very little barley and beans are grown.

Middleton farm is one of the principal holdings in the district. It comprises 237 acres, partly moss, and partly loamy clay land, and is wholly arable. It is tenanted by Mr John Lyle, under a lease, and is worked under the four-course rotation. In 1880 it was rented at 628, and the tenant taxed thus~ez_mdash~9 for poor and school rates, 5 for statute labour money, and 1, 17s. for occupancy. The crops grown are wheat, oats, beans, turnips potatoes, and hay. In. addition to the dung made on the farm, some 10 tons of artificial manures are annually used, but very little feeding stuff is consumed beyond what the farm produces. Wheat seed for an acre of land costs about 35s. annually; oats, 20s.; turnips, 12s.; potatoes, 4; and hay, 1; while the root crops and hay each get about 12 worth of manure. The cost per acre of labour varies considerably~ez_mdash~for wheat, 25s.; oats, 25s.; for turnips, 2; for potatoes, 3 ; and for hay, 2. Wheat yields about 5 quarters per acre; oats, 4 quarters; turnips, 25 tons; potatoes, 8 tons; and hay, 3 tons. A considerable extent of draining was done during the last lease, which has just expired, the landlord supplying the tiles. The gross annual cost of labour on Middleton farm runs to about 2 per acre, the wages being entirely paid in money.

Regarding the farm of Forehouse, in this parish, the former tenant, Mr Robert Wilson (now in Manswrae) furnished the Royal Commission with some useful information in 1880. He stated that he kept on it a dairy herd of about twenty cows, most of which were bred on the farm. From twelve to sixteen calves were annually reared. The produce of the dairy was sold in milk, of which the annual yield was about 630 gallons per cow, and value 420. Delivery of the milk, which was sent to Paisley, cost about 1d. per gallon; and the other costs to be deducted from the profits were some 36 for two female servants engaged in the dairy, and about 10 per cow for food not grown on the farm. Cast cows realised about 250 annually, while other farm produce to the value of about 100 was disposed of in the same way.

The parish of Houston is pretty equally divided between the "gentle rising" and the flat division of the county. It is both rolling and flat in surface, and is withal a capital farming district. It principally belongs to Mr Alexander Archibald Speirs, of Elderslie, who is still in minority. The united area of the estates of Houston and Elderslie, the latter of which is in the parish of Renfrew, is about 12,000 acres; of these about 10,000 are arable, 700 pasture, 800 wood, and 200 under water dams. The total rental for the crop of 1884 was about 17,000, exclusive of feus, having increased to no appreciable extent since 1860. The soil over the estate is various; in the higher lying portion it is light and thin. The level land is good soil of moderate depth, frequently overlying a retentive subsoil. The average size of farms is about 120 acres, and they are generally in a more tenantable condition now than they were twenty-five years ago. The buildings in many instances have been enlarged and improved, while on five or six farms proportions of moss land, formerly of no value, have been reclaimed by draining and trenching. These improvements have proved advantageous to all concerned, the new moss land having yielded fair crops, particularly of potatoes, for many years. Apart from the reclamations effected, a large amount of money has been expended in the draining and redraining of land; while within the past twenty years six or eight of the larger and better class holdings have been provided with handsome cottages for married servants. A few farms are held on a nineteen years' lease, but the greater number are now let on shorter terms~ez_mdash~from five to twelve years. Incoming tenants obtain possession of the arable lands at Martinmas, and of houses and grass at the next Whitsunday term. The cost of buildings and draining is defrayed by the landlord, the tenants carting the materials and tiles, and paying 4 or 5 per cent. interest on the outlay unless where covered by rent. The average rent per acre is about 30s., the extremes being 18s. and 4. Rents are paid at Martinmas and Whitsunday, all in money. The rotation of cropping usually followed in the lower parts of the estates is a four-course system ~ez_mdash~(1) oats, (2) green crop, (3) wheat or oats sown down with grass seeds, and (4) hay; but no regular course exists in the upper reaches. In these latter portions no wheat is grown, oats being the only cereal; and after the hay crop has been reaped much of the land remains in pasture for several years. The cattle in both high and low districts are nearly all Ayrshires; many are bred and some bought in. A large quantity of bean meal is annually used for feeding dairy stocks. There is only one sheep farm on these estates. It is situated on the high grounds of Neilston parish, and some three-fifths of it is moorland. The flock kept on it consists of about 160 blackfaced ewes.

Within the past twenty-five years a considerable extent of matured larch and Scotch fir on Mr Speir's possessions have been cut down and replanted, and from thirty to forty acres of other ground has been put under wood.

On these estates Mr R. C. Young holds four farms ~ez_mdash~Fulwood, Netherfield, Chapel, and Birkenhead~ez_mdash~or a total area of about 550 acres, for which he pays fully 1200 per annum. The soil is generally good, but with the proximity of several peat mosses it is liable to severe frosts in spring. Mr Young used to work his land under a four-years' rotation, but has recently, like many other Renfrewshire farmers, altered his system of working. Fewer potatoes are now grown than hitherto, and the cultivation of timothy hay has latterly come largely into vogue. The area of wheat has been reduced, and that of oats and permanent pasture extended. Mr Young ploughs land for green crop in the autumn, works and cleans it in spring, and sows in the end of May. It is dunged in the drill, chiefly with city manure, at the rate of from 30 to 40 tons per acre. In addition to this some 3 cwt. of superphospates is applied immediately before the seed is sown. He finds it advantageous, where the land for the turnip break is heavy, to sow a portion of it with beans. The potatoes grown are mostly of the Champion variety, which is to a large extent dunged with horse manure. As this manure is considered rather strong for bringing into immediate contact with the seed, it is spread over the surface of the stubble in the autumn, and ploughed down before the winter frosts set in. Cow manure, however, where applied, is put into the drill at the time of planting. Crops yield well as a rule. The average yield of cereals for five years, beginning in 1873, was as follows:~ez_mdash~Wheat, 4 quarters, worth 42s. per quarter, and 38 cwt. of straw, worth 3, 10s. per ton. Oats, 6 quarters of grain, value 26s., and 28 cwt. of straw, worth 3, 10s. per ton. Hay yields from 36 cwt. to 45 cwt., and turnips about 15 tons per imperial acre. The four farms require fifteen horses, all of which are well-bred Clydesdales. Only Ayrshire cows are kept, of which a few are bred by the owner. Two dairy herds, comprising twenty-five and thirty cows respectively, are let to bowers at a yearly rate. The bowers each pay 15, 10s. per cow, receiving from Mr Young two loads of bean meal in addition to as much straw and chaff as they can economically use, and 4 acres of good turnips. The neighbouring farm on the same estate is also named Fulwood, and is tenanted by Mr W. Fleming. It is extensive, level in surface, and mostly arable. It has been in the hands of the Fleming family since 1784, and is worked on a similar rotation to that adopted by Mr Young. The rental in 1880 was 950; while taxes, rates, and insurance are paid by the tenant to the amount of some 30. The crops raised are wheat, oats, beans, potatoes, turnips, cabbages, vetches, and hay; and excepting a slight decrease in the extent of potatoes and wheat grown, and an increase of hay during the past few years, no material alteration has occurred in the system of farming since 1860. Artificial manures are applied to the farm to the value of about 200 yearly, and good crops are generally obtained, the ordinary yield of straw per acre being about 250 stones; while hay reaches 2 tons, and turnips 15 tons, and potatoes 8 tons. The seed sown is mostly grown on the farm, but a few bolls of oats and wheat are changed every year.

The Flat District

The lowland division is the most exclusively arable of the three. It is one long fertile plain~ez_mdash~about 6 miles in length~ez_mdash~ and comprehends the parish of Renfrew and parts of Inchinnan, Erskine, Houston, Kilbarchan, and Abbey. In other words, it extends to some 12,062 acres, and is one of the most productive and important farming districts in Scotland. The farms on it are all well laid-off, substantially fenced, and well supplied with wood as shelter for stock.

The parish of Erskine occupies the north-western corner of the plain, and contains a number of large and skilfully managed farms, the principal owner of which is Lord Blantyre. His Lordship's estate extends to about 7500 acres. It is wholly arable, with exception of 1800 acres of wood, of which 100 acres have been planted since 1860. The soil consists of three different kinds~ez_mdash~(1) deep rich loam, (2) light sharp soil, and (3) stiff clay land. The average size of farms on this estate is 200 acres, and most of them have, in some way or other, been materially enhanced in value since 1860. Great progress has been made in building. All the building improvements were performed by the landlord free of cost, or charging the tenant interest, according to agreement. As a rule, no interest is charged, however, the improvements being generally taken into consideration on entering a new lease. This remark also applies to draining and fencing on an extensive scale, but small repairs or extensions in draining are made by tenants themselves, his Lordship supplying the tiles, and seeing that they are properly used. There has not been much land reclaimed for some time ; but some 3 acres of moss land were recently taken in and put under crop at great cost. The expense was mainly caused by the sinking of the main drain, which is deep and substantially made. Fencing improvements carried out since 1860 consisted of the erection of 5 feet high stone walls and iron bar fencing. The farms are tenanted under a nineteen years' lease, the incoming tenants getting possession of arable lands at Martinmas and houses and grass at Whitsunday. Previous to the passing of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1883, all the incoming tenants had to pay for was the dung and grass seeds of the young grass break, which the outgoing tenant was not allowed to graze with sheep or calves. The average rental over the estate is 42s. per acre, the extremes being 50s. and 34s. As might be expected from the extensive character of the improvements affected, rents have increased considerably~ez_mdash~about 20 per cent. since 1860. The farms are stocked with Ayrshire and cross cattle mostly bought in. Few are fattened, but those that are tied up for this purpose consume a good deal of artificial food.

Amongst the numerous other well-managed farms on the estate is that of Glenshinnoch, tenanted by Mr John Park. Mr Park having succeeded his father in the occupancy of the farm, has been in possession of the same family for over sixty years, and has long been intimately associated with the breed-ing of Clydesdale horses. It consists of rather light soil, but it is wholly arable and mostly under rotation. It is wrought under an eight-years' course, and the rent in 1880, inclusive of rates and taxes, was 440. Only dairy cattle are kept, which are fed on grass during summer, and on turnips, straw, and bean meal in winter. The herd is chiefly kept up by home breeding. As might be inferred from the fact that close on 250 worth of artificial manure is annually applied to the land in addition to dung, good crops are generally raised. The cost of production per acre~ez_mdash~rental being 42s., and rates and taxes 1s. 6d.~ez_mdash~of each crop is approximately estimated thus:~ez_mdash~ Wheat ~ez_mdash~seed, 27s. ; manure, 50s.; cultivation and harvest, 50s.; labour, threshing, and marketing, 39s. Oats~ez_mdash~seed, 20s. ; manures, 60s.; cultivation, &c, 50s.; labour, &c, 39s. Barley ~ez_mdash~seed, 16s.; manures, 8; cultivation, &c, 50s.; labour, &c, 39s. Beans~ez_mdash~seed, 25s.; manures, 8 ; cultivation, &c, 50s.; labour, &c, 39s. Potatoes~ez_mdash~seed, 5, 8s.; manures, 6 ; cultivation, &c, 6, 4s. ; labour, &c, 4, 6s. 2d. Turnips~ez_mdash~seed, 3s. 6d.; manures, 6 ; cultivation, &c, 4; and labour, &c, 5, 15s. The seed is changed as a rule every second year.

Another of Lord Blantyre's largest farms in Erskine is Hatton, which is occupied under a lease of nineteen years by the well-known Clydesdale horse breeder, Mr Walter Park. It is wholly arable, mostly light as regards soil, and extends to 405 acres. The rental in 1880 was 680. The seven-course shift has been in operation here for many years, and the land, which annually receives a large amount of artificial manure, gives a fair return. The crops grown are oats, potatoes and turnips, and hay, a considerable portion of which are consumed on the farm. Stock breeding and dairying are both extensively carried on by Mr Park, and feeding stuffs to the extent of about 500 are used every year. Of these about 300 worth are bought in. The dairy cows are partly let to bowers under the ordinary letting conditions.

One of the principal dairy farms is that of East Glenshinnoch, occupied by Mr James Lambie. The number of cows kept varies from twenty-two to thirty, most of which are reared on the farm. The dairy yield is variable ; largely regulated by the character of the season and produce market. It ranges from 14, 10s. up to 19 per cow, the average being about 15, 10s. or 16. The newly-dropped calves~ez_mdash~excepting some five or six which arc annually required on the farm~ez_mdash~are sold to the butcher at about 9s. or 10s. a head. The cows are largely fed on homegrown food, beans being cultivated for this purpose; but 3 a head for draff, meal, and treacle is no uncommon expenditure. The butter milk, and part of the butter, are retailed from the farm cart, while the remainder of the butter is put into shops. The shopkeepers sell it at 1d. per lb. of profit. The cart has to travel a distance of 12 miles to the market, the number of outings per annum being from 150 to 200. The cost of delivery is thus a heavy item of expense, varying from 75 to 100 yearly. This, however, lessens the expenditure in commission for selling, and Mr Lambie estimates his proportion of the price paid by the actual consumer at about 90 per cent.

On the farm of Drumcross Mr John Samson keeps about thirty cows, the average yield per cow being about 600 gallons of milk per annum. The cost of marketing the produce amounts to about 100 per annum, still only about two-thirds of the price paid by the actual consumer reaches the producer. The annual sale of milk amounts to about 750.

The farms of Gladstone and Southbar are tenanted by Mr John Gibb. They extend together to 230 acres, about 150 acres of which comprise light red soil, 70 acres clay, and 10 acres moss. Though mainly arable, they are both to a large extent under permanent pasture. Both are held under lease,~ez_mdash~ Gladstone eleven years and Southbar nineteen,~ez_mdash~and have been occupied by Mr Gibb for many years. Under a four-course rotation, some eight varieties of crop are grown, and a good many cattle, horses, and sheep are annually bred. The tenant finds breeding more profitable than feeding stock. In summer his cattle are fed on grass and small potatoes; the winter fare is more luxurious and varied~ez_mdash~turnips, potatoes, bean meal, cotton cake, brewers' waste, with hay and straw. These are two of the farms which go to prove that Renfrewshire excels almost all other counties for variety of crop. No fewer than ten crops are grown every year on Gladstone and Southbar; and the approximate cost per acre of cultivating the principal of these has been estimated by Mr Gibb as follows:~ez_mdash~Wheat~ez_mdash~seed, 25s.; manures, 15s.; cultivation and harvesting, 30s.; labour, threshing, and marketing, 15s. Oats~ez_mdash~seed, 13s. 6d.; manures, 25s.; cultivation, &c, 40s.; labour, &c, 18s. Barley~ez_mdash~seed, 12s. 6d.; manures, 25s. 6d.; cultivation, 30s.; labour, &c, 15s. Hay~ez_mdash~seed, 14s. 6d.; manures, 30s.; cultivation, &c, 10s.; labour, &c, 14s. Potatoes~ez_mdash~seed, 70s.; manures, 13; cultivation, &c, 45s.; labour, &c, 25s. Turnips~ez_mdash~seed, 3s. 6d.; manures, 8, 5s.; cultivation, &c, 45s.; labour, &c, 25s.; Beans ~ez_mdash~seed, 18s.; manures, 8, 5s.; cultivation, &c, 35s.; labour, &c, 25s. Cabbage~ez_mdash~seed, 2; manures, 15; cultivation, &c, 45s.; labour, &c., 45s. The average yield of wheat is about 4 quarters of grain and 240 imperial stones of straw; the average return of oats is about 7 quarters. But from 1875 to 1877, inclusive, oats yielded 9 quarters of grain and 300 stones of straw. Barley returns about 4 quarters of grain and 150 stones of straw per acre. Two tons is a common return of hay, 18 tons of turnips, and from 7 to 9 tons of potatoes. Prior to 1880, potatoes, which are usually sold by the acre, realised about 28, but of late that figure has not been obtained. The land is liberally manured with both farm-yard and artificial manures, the average annual quantity of the latter being 35 tons. Since 1860 some improvements have been carried out in building and draining. Early in last decade the tenant re-drained the greater proportion of Gladstone farm, the landlord supplying the tiles. The average annual cost of labour on the farms varies from 600 to 700.

The parish of Inchinnan contains a few very good farms. One of the most skilfully managed is that of Park Mains, tenanted by Mr William Taylor. Extending to 375 acres, all arable, it comprises a large variety of soil, ranging from stiff retentive clay to sharp, kindly land. Light soil predominates. It is held on a lease of twelve years, and is rented at 2 per acre. The farm is cropped under the six-course rotation, and the cost per acre of producing the several crops grown is as follows :~ez_mdash~Oats~ez_mdash~seed, 16s.; manures, 25s.; cultivation and harvesting, 48s.; labour, &c, 11s. Potatoes~ez_mdash~seed, 4; manures, 11; cultivation, &c, 7, 3s. 6d. Turnips~ez_mdash~seed, 3s. 6d.; manures, 9; cultivation, &c, 85s.; labour, &c, 2. Hay~ez_mdash~ seed, 20s.; manures, 30s.; cultivation, &c, 15s.; labour, &c, 15s. Beans~ez_mdash~seed, 21s.; manures, 9, 10s.; cultivation, &c, 3, 4s.; labour, &c, 48s. Oats yield about 5 quarters per acre, potatoes about 8 tons, turnips from 20 to 25 tons, and hay 2 tons. Besides these crops, wheat, mangold-wurzel, and beans are grown to some extent, which yield well. For green crop the stubble land is ploughed in the autumn or beginning of winter, and grubbed in spring. The dung is partly ploughed in in the "fall," and partly applied in the drill along with an allowance of artificial manure just before planting or sowing takes place. The annual expenditure in artificial manures is about 200. The live stock of the farm consists of Ayrshire cows and cross cattle, some good Clydesdale horses, and from 200 to 400 cross hoggs and blackfaced ewes. The cows, excepting one or two kept for supplying the farm-house, are let to a bower; they are summered on the grass, and fed during winter on turnips, bean meal, &c. Their produce is sold in butter and butter milk. The sheep get an allowance of turnips, cake, and corn in winter. Another well known and successful farmer in this district is Mr Alexander Lang. He has long occupied the farm of Garney-land, which comprises 187 acres. Of these a considerable proportion lies under permanent pasture, and the rest is cropped under no specific rotation. The rental is regulated by the fiars' prices, and varies from 360 to 460 ; while rates and taxes amount to about 20 per annum. The farm carries a stock of bought in cattle and sheep, which are fed on grass with a little cake in summer, and sold off before the dead of winter sets in. Various crops are grown, the cost per acre of which may be estimated thus:~ez_mdash~Potatoes~ez_mdash~seed, 4; manures, 12; cultivation and harvesting, 84s; labour and marketing, 45s. Wheat - seed, 1; cultivation, &c, 47s.; labour, &c, 14s. Oats~ez_mdash~seed, 18s.; manure, 2; cultivation, &c, 47s.; labour, &c, 14s. Beans~ez_mdash~seed, 22s.; manures, 10; cultivation, &c, 86s.; labour, &c, 14s. Turnips~ez_mdash~seed, 5s.; manures, 10,; cultivation, &c, 86s.; labour, &c, 40s. Hay~ez_mdash~seed, 20s.; manures, 25s.; cultivation, &c, 16s. 6d.; labour, &c, 20s. The yields in bulk resemble those of Park Mains, while the annual quantity of artificial manure used is about 10 tons. The cost of labour per acre on Garneyland is about 25s.

The parish of Renfrew is well suited for arable farming. The soil is deep and good, and adapted for the growth of almost every kind of crop. It is highly rented, but it is productive, and, as a rule, is very skilfully farmed. Rents range from 2 up to 3, 5s. 4d. The latter sum is paid per acre by Mr Thomas Fulton for the farm of Shiels. This choice holding is worked under a four-years' course, and yields well. The return of wheat per acre is 5 quarters; oats, 8 quarters ; barley, from 4 to 8 quarters; potatoes, 6 tons; turnips, 18 tons; and hay, 3 tons. Land intended for green crop is ploughed deeply in the "fall" of the year, and is grubbed in spring. If for turnips it gets 15 tons of home-made manure and 2 cwt. of artificial manure per acre. For potatoes the land gets 35 tons of homemade manure, which is spread in the drills at planting time. Potatoes were at one time a principal crop on the farm, but have latterly fallen into secondary importance. The live stock consists of Ayrshire cattle, Clydesdale horses, and about 60 lambs. A few cattle are bred on the farm, but the stock are mostly bought in. They are mainly fed on the produce of the holding. The horses are good, and work the farm at the rate of 60 acres per pair.

A considerable change has been effected in the cropping of land in this district within the past few years. More hay, and less potatoes and wheat, are grown than formerly, but this change is not peculiar to Renfrew; it is more or less the case wherever these crops are grown.

The Agricultural Depression.

Renfrewshire was about the last to suffer from agricultural depression. It has shared bad seasons with other Scotch counties, but its extensive dairy investments have acted as a safety valve to farmers. Crop growing districts were the first to feel the pinch of depression, and they have suffered most all along. The year 1879 was the most disastrous experienced in the west for a long period, and depression can scarcely be said to have prevailed to any extent before then. Since that year, however, its existence has become more and more apparent year by year. It has materially affected arable farming, inasmuch as it has necessitated, in many cases, an alteration in the system of cropping. Depression in the potato trade~ez_mdash~formerly one of the lifesprings of the county~ez_mdash~has led to a limitation of potato growing; while a falling off has also occurred in the extent of cereals cultivated, owing to the reduced prices of grain. The prices of dairy produce have not been so much affected as where cheese and butter making are more extensively prosecuted. Sweet milk is a commodity with which the foreigner cannot possibly supply our populace, and the production of this, together with the proximity of markets and centres of consumption, has helped more than anything else to ward off the gloom of depression.

That the depression exists now, however, is too painfully true. It is attributed to various causes~ez_mdash~foreign competition, bad seasons, and want of sunshine, high rents, hares and rabbits, low prices of farm produce, and deficient returns from the soil. All these are said to have contributed to the same end; but the chief cause undoubtedly is the great fall in the prices of farm produce since 1880. But while the depression has greatly increased in severity of recent years, it is gratifying to note that only eight farmers have, since 1879, availed themselves of the Bankruptcy Statute,1856~ez_mdash~five in the upper ward and three in the lower. Most of these bankruptcies occurred previous to 1882 ; there have only been one or two failures at most this year. As yet, farmers have not received much assistance in the way of permanent rent reduction, but temporary remissions have been made. There has, however, been no lack of candidates for good farms, and consequently none are vacant.

Rents~ez_mdash~Leases~ez_mdash~Rotation~ez_mdash~Size of Farms.

Rents.~ez_mdash~Less fluctuation has taken place in the farm rents of Renfrewshire than in almost any other Scotch county. This fact may in some measure result from care in bargain-making between landlords and tenants, but we suspect it is more largely due to the facilities of outlet and marketing of farm produce which the county has long enjoyed. At any-rate, few striking advances have occurred since 1860, and still rents are high. With the exception of a few select patches of land in the vicinity of Greenock, which is let at the rate of about 4 an acre, they range from 20s. to 35s. over the lower ward, or western district of the county. Here they have risen from 15 to 25 per cent. since 1860~ez_mdash~a little more in one or two cases - but the benefit has not been all on one side. The additional accommodation required by the tenants frequently exhausted any advantage that might have otherwise accrued to the landlord, and in such cases an advance of rent simply meant progress. In the neighbourhood of Paisley upwards of 3 per acre is obtained, and throughout the parishes of Inch-innan and Renfrew rents range from 2 to over 3. The same figures apply to the parish of Kilbarchan; while 37s. 6d.~ez_mdash~40s. for arable land, and 15s. for grass~ez_mdash~is about the average rental in the parishes of Neilston, Eastwood, and the outskirts of the Abbey of Paisley. The rental per acre in Mearns and Eagle-sham runs from 30s. to 50s., except in a few cases, where it ranges as high as 3 and as low as 20s. In the parish of Erskine it varies from 30s. to 45s.; and in the far inland parish of Lochwinnoch, arable land is rented at from 17s. 6d. to 35s., pasture from 35s. to 55s., and meadow grass at about 20s. Hill pasture varies in value according to elevation and quality~ez_mdash~from 3s. 6d. up to 7s. 6d. per imperial acre.

In travelling through the county one hears frequent complaints of excessive renting. There may be some grounds for these, but, from what we can learn, there is comparatively little to excite the sympathy of landlords. In the Kilmalcolm district, for example, several farms were recently easily enough let at former rents; for one small farm indeed a considerable increase was obtained. In the parish of Renfrew lately the farm of North and South Mossland, extending to 154 acres, and belonging to the community of the burgh, was let by public roup. There was a good attendance of farmers, and after a spirited competition, Mr Alexander Stewart, farmer, Benstone, Howwood, was declared tenant on a lease of nineteen years, at 2, 13s. per acre, a fall of 8s. per acre on the previous lease.

Leases.~ez_mdash~With few exceptions, all the land is farmed under lease. The duration of lease varies somewhat, but the nineteen years' system is usually adopted. The leasing system is more popular in Renfrewshire than in some of the north-eastern counties of Scotland, and is not likely to be readily abolished. A few years ago, before farmers became affected by the depression through which we are passing, it was thought the lease system gave landlords an undue advantage over tenants. This idea, however, is now largely exploded, and the nineteen years' lease seems to have, in a measure, regained its popularity. After the very trying year of 1879, Mr Gilmour offered to relieve the whole of his Eaglesham tenants of their leases, but only one~ez_mdash~ a small grazing farmer~ez_mdash~took advantage of the offer. This farmer left the farm, but no sooner had he gone than it passed into the hands of another, on a nineteen years' lease at an increased rent. Almost the only farms held from year to year are on Sir John Stirling Maxwell's Eastwood and Cathcart property, and formerly these were let on short leases. In a few cases in the flat district of the county, farms are tenanted under leases of eleven and twelve years. On the Houston and Elderslie estates the nineteen years' lease at one time prevailed, but the greater number of farms are now let on leases of from five to twelve years' duration. The Agricultural Holdings Act, 1883, has in some instances slightly changed the conditions of exit and entry to farms.

Rotation.~ez_mdash~Various rotations are adopted. Certain systems are prescribed in the conditions of lease on the principal estates, but only in one or two cases are these strictly enforced. This practically gives tenants what is much desired in many other parts of the country~ez_mdash~freedom of cropping; but it is generally expected that farmers will conform to the estate regulations in the closing years of their leases. The four-years' shift prevailed for many years. Latterly, however, it has been losing favour, owing to the depreciation in the value of farm produce. Six, seven, and eight courses are now more common; while in many cases the land is allowed to lie under grass as long as it will retain it. In the Paisley district the five and six shift rotations have to a large extent taken the place of the four-course shift; two successive white crops being occasionally taken. The four-course system, and what may be put down as the crop rotation of the county, is (1) white crop~ez_mdash~oats, wheat, and barley, (2) turnips and potatoes, (3) white crop, and (4) hay. In the great majority of cases these are followed by two or three or more years' grass. On many farms formerly devoted to crop growing, comparatively little is now broken up, the bulk of the land being under permanent pastures.

Size of Farms.~ez_mdash~There are numerous classes of farms in the county. Small farms have been gradually diminishing during the past twenty-five years; still there are more holdings under 20 acres~ez_mdash~some 432~ez_mdash~in extent than in many larger counties. At present the total number of holdings of all sizes is 1288, which may be classified (with the acreage of each class) thus~ez_mdash~

50 Acres and under.

50 to 100 Acres.

100 to 300 Acres.

300 to 500 Acres.

500 to 1000 Acres.

Above 1000 Acres.

Total.

Farms, Acreage,

613
9405

319
24,778

341
53,495

9
3452

5
3464

1
1001

1288 95,595

Buildings~ez_mdash~Drains~ez_mdash~Fences~ez_mdash~Roads.

Buildings.~ez_mdash~In no other department of agriculture has greater activity been shown than in building. Since 1860 building operations have been almost continually going on. In Kilmalcolm many old-fashioned thatched structures have given place to substantial, commodious, and convenient farm steadings. On the Garthland estate, in the parish of Lochwinnoch, nine new steadings have been erected within the last ten years, and several repaired; while further east similar progress has been made. The most enterprising landlord in this respect, however, is Lord Blantyre. He has built many handsome farm houses during the last twelve years, and his estate is now well provided with cottage accommodation. His exertions are worthy of imitation, for in this, as in many other Scotch counties, there is a manifest lack of accommodation for married labourers. The cottages his Lordship hast erected are neatly and conveniently designed, and are of inestimable value to his tenants. The steadings he has built include dairying establishments, which are as novel in construction as they are convenient and useful. One of these has recently been erected on the farm of Hatton. It is so planned as to protect the manure from rain and sunshine, and thus prevent the escape of ammonia and other valuable ingredients. It affords accommodation for two distinct herds~ez_mdash~two bowers~ez_mdash~-and is built in the form of a cross. The centre block is 120 feet long, 30 feet wide, and comprises two byres, each stalled for twenty-six cows; while each of the side wings contain a dwelling-house, milk-house, scullery, and stable. The milk-house enters immediately off the byre, and is so arranged as to insure cleanliness and coolness. The scullery and churning-house adjoin the milk-house, and besides some improved dairy utensils, such as an ingenious patent refrigerator for cooling the milk, and butter churn, we here observed a novel feature of arrangement which every dairy farmer might introduce with advantage. We refer to the system adopted of loading the milk-cart. The ground behind the churning-house has been excavated in order that the cart when backed~ez_mdash~as if into a shed ~ez_mdash~is on a level with the floor of the house. The barrels are thus taken out, thoroughly cleaned, refilled, and replaced on the cart with the utmost ease. The most valuable feature of the structure, however, is undoubtedly the arrangement by which the manure is preserved from exposure. Below the byres is a large vacuum, into which the dung is deposited through a series of trap-doors. This facilitates cleaning in the byres, and as these are substantially floored with cement and the trap-doors thoroughly secure and tight-fitting, no deleterious smell or matter can rise from the dung-pit below. Above the byres is erected a commodious hayloft, from which fodder is conveyed to the racks by means of a suspending shaft. As a whole the building is exceptionally complete, and for those interested in dairying it is worth going far to see.

A great many open sheds for the storing of hay, &c, have recently been erected over the county. The extended cultivation of hay has given rise to a demand for these, and they are found to be specially valuable in Renfrewshire, owing to the moistness of the climate.

Building improvements as a rule are carried out at the expense of the landlord, the tenant, in addition to carting the necessary materials, being charged a certain percentage on the money expended.

Drains.~ez_mdash~In the extensive land reclamations carried out during the past thirty years, draining was made the primary agent. And it is right that it should be so. Thorough draining is absolutely indispensable, either in the reclaiming or the successful cultivation of land, and this appears to be fully recognised in Renfrewshire. Efforts are made to keep the land dry, and this is no easy matter where the subsoil is stiff and retentive. In what is known as the "Greeting" land of Inverkip, for example, it is almost impossible to secure adequate drainage, and the crops and grass grown on it are consequently inferior in quality. By draining alone a considerable extent of rough, swampy land in the parish of Kilmalcolm has been increased in fertility and rendered valuable for crop growing. Drains vary in depth from 2 to 3 feet, and their width apart is governed by the condition of the land. The work is generally executed at the landlord's expense, the tenant being charged from 4 to 6 3/4 per cent. interest on the outlay. In a few exceptional cases, however, the tenant performed the work at his own expense, the landlord simply supplying the tiles.

Fences.~ez_mdash~These are generally good. So much was done in the way of enclosing land prior to 1860 that little extension has been required since then. The farms and fields are substantially enclosed, and a large extent of hill land has recently been fenced on the Eaglesham estate. Like building and draining improvements, fencing is generally performed at the mutual expense of landlord and tenant, and it consists of four different kinds~ez_mdash~ hedges, dykes, and wire and iron bar fencing. Hedging prevails over the flat district, and is occasionally to be met with in the middle district; but in the latter as well as in the higher lands stone dykes constitute the principal fence. Wire fencing is used to some extent over the greater part of the county.

Roads.~ez_mdash~These traverse the county in all directions, radiating from Glasgow, Paisley, Johnstone, and Greenock, and extending into the adjacent counties of Ayr and Lanark. Generally speaking, they are good and well kept. For the management, maintenance, and repair of public roads a tax of 8d. per is levied~ez_mdash~payable equally between owner and occupier. Road debts however, are wholly payable by the proprietors, and for this purpose an assessment of 1d. per is imposed. Several private roads have been made since 1860, and as a rule the county is abundantly supplied with roads of various classes.

Manure.~ez_mdash~For many years city manure has been largely used by farmers. Since the opening of the Glasgow and Southwestern Railway in 1869 town manure has been freely imported from Glasgow to the central districts; while Inverkip farmers have still longer enjoyed access to the city depots. This was secured for them by the formation of the Glasgow and Wemyss Bay Railway in 1860. Previously lime and guano were the principal stimulants applied to the soil. Lime is still given where necessary, but the use of guano has greatly diminished. The city manure is considered to have greatly aided cultivation, and thus raised the value of land, enabling farmers in some instances to keep a third more cows than the same area of land carried in 1860. It costs about 2s. per ton, or 13s. per truck of 7 tons, and is carried from Glasgow to the Kilmalcolm district at about d. per ton per mile. Artificial manures, such as superphosphates, are also extensively used, especially in the flat district.

Farm Machinery.~ez_mdash~Another powerful influence has been brought to bear upon the cultivation of the soil by the introduction of new and improved farm machinery. Since 1860 a great advance has been made in this respect. Some twenty-five or thirty years ago the grain crop was mainly threshed by the "flail" in several districts, and on a very few farms this ancient instrument retains its hold. In the extensive parish of Kilmalcolm there were only three or four threshing-mills in use in 1860. The "flail," however, may be said to have nearly fallen into disuse prior to 1870. It was superseded by that more expeditious " workman," the threshing-mill, which is now in use on every arable farm. The working power is by water, horses, and steam~ez_mdash~water being generally used where practicable. On the estate of Sir Michael R. Shaw Stewart the mills are principally driven by water, and mostly fitted with turbine wheels. Steam is seldom used except with portable mills, by which a large quantity of wheat is threshed during the month of March, but the motive power is frequently supplied by horses. Barn machinery has latterly been increased on the principal farms by the introduction of grinding or bruising machines, most of which are wrought in conjunction with the threshing-mills. Field implements are of the newest sorts. The reaper has to a large extent superseded the scythe, while ploughs, harrows, grubbers, and carts are all of modern and improved make. The steam plough has been tried on several estates, but found unsuitable except in the cultivation of newly reclaimed moss, which would not bear the weight of horses.

Grain Crops.

The thirty-three counties into which Scotland is divided arrange themselves into three separate classes~ez_mdash~(1) pasture, (2) corn growing, and (3) mixed farming. Six belong to the first class, eleven to the second, and sixteen to the third. In the last-named group Renfrewshire holds a place ; but for some time past it has been inclining to the pastoral class. In this respect, however, it is not singular. All the counties in which the "tug-of-war" has been going on between cultivation and pasture for the past quarter of a century have tended more or less in the same direction. For some twenty years prior to 1880 it ran Linlithgowshire very closely for the ninth place, which it has latterly succeeded in attaining. But this conquest has not materially altered its relationship to any of the other Scotch counties in the matter of grain cultivation. It still stands much nearer the bottom than the top of the list, and there is no immediate appearance of further promotion. The area devoted to the production of grain crops has been computed thus:~ez_mdash~

Year.

Wheat.

Barley and Bere.

Oats.

Eye.

Beans.

Pease.

Total
acreage
White crop.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

1857

4764

5231

17,097|

74

1232

8

23,700

1870

3362

250

14,088

38

644

11

18,393

1875

2712

291

13,921

6

750

4

17,684

1881

2756

339

14,094

20

492

11

17,712

1885

1892

153

14,240

2

495

24

16,806

These statistics explicitly show the direction in which the agricultural industry of the county has been moving during the past twenty-five years. Every crop has decreased materially since 1857, excepting pease, which is of comparatively little importance. The falling-off over all amounts to some 6794 acres. Between 1857 and 1870 there was a decline of no less than 5307 acres, or nearly four-fifths of the total decrease of the past twenty-seven years. The decline since 1870 has been very gradual, the extent of cropping being regulated by the state of the farm produce market. Harvest operations a rule, first begun in the eastern parishes. In ordinary years

crops arrive at maturity at various times from the 20th of August on to the middle of September.

Wheat.~ez_mdash~This cereal was at one time extensively cultivated, even more largely than the foregoing table indicates. During the past thirty years, however, it has been on the wane, and since 1881 has fallen away very considerably. It is now almost exclusively confined to the flat district of the county, and even on the best land it is diminishing. Not many years ago it was grown on most of the leading farms in the Mearns and other upland parishes, but it is now wholly given up in these parts. Even in the parish of Erskine, where it used to be annually grown to the extent of about 300 acres, its area has been reduced to a few acres. Winter wheat is sown about the middle of November, 3 bushels being the ordinary allowance of seed per acre. On most farms from 8 to 10 bushels of bought-in grain is annually sown, which prevents the use of too old seed. The varieties principally grown are "Hunter's White" and " Woolly Ear," which are sometimes mixed with advantage. It is supposed that the lighter topped sheaf produced by the mixture lessens the liability of the grain to be damaged by wet in the stook. Wheat is seldom manured, but occasionally it gets a sprinkling of artificial stimulant when grown after a heavy crop of beans. Its yield varies from 3 to 5 quarters per acre, and when well harvested the grain weighs from 58 to 60 lbs. per bushel. The return of straw averages about 1 tons per acre. Some years ago wheat straw was in great demand for use in city stables and elsewhere, and high prices obtained for it. A like quantity will only realise 14s. to 16s. now. The grain is mostly threshed by portable mills, which perform the work at the rate of about 50 quarters per day, the ordinary cost of a day's threshing being a little over 5.

Barley.~ez_mdash~There has been a still greater decrease in the extent of barley. It has fallen away to a mere fraction of its former area, the reduction since 1857 having been 5079 acres~ez_mdash~more than thirty-three times its acreage in 1885. It is wholly confined to the middle district of the county; and about 4 bushels of seed yield, on an average, rather more than 4 quarters of grain per acre.

Oats.~ez_mdash~This is the staple cereal. Though nearly 3000 acres short of its acreage in 1857, it has increased somewhat of recent years. The varieties in favour in the lower district are the "Hamilton" and "Providence" oats; while the "Hamilton," "Sandy," and "Tam Findlay" sorts are most extensively cultivated in the Mearns and western parishes. A common seeding in the earlier parts is 4 bushels per acre, but in the higher and western districts, where the climate is more severe, 5 bushels are generally allowed. Sowing takes place in the end of March. When the hay stubble-land is broken for oats, a supply of city manure is occasionally ploughed down; but a common practice is to top-dress with artificial manure in spring. Gas lime is used for this purpose in the later districts. It costs only about 1s. 6d. per ton, and is found to be an effectual stimulant. If the seed and crop are healthy, very heavy yields are occasionally obtained. The return, on the finer and earlier farms ranges from 5 to 6 quarters per acre, the average weight of grain being 41 lbs. per bushel. In the inland parishes, such as Mearns and Kilmalcolm, 4 quarters is considered a good yield, while grain seldom exceeds 39 lbs. per bushel. It is mostly threshed with the ordinary farm mill, and disposed of in Paisley or Glasgow, the straw being wholly consumed in the county.

In this county, as elsewhere, this cereal is sometimes depreciated by "tulip root." This disease is almost the only one that preys seriously upon the oat crop, and it is ill understood by farmers. The plant, when attacked, breaks up into two or three stunted unfruitful stalks, and when examined a worm is generally found feeding on its roots. But "tulip-root " is not peculiar to Renfrewshire. In the counties of Ayr, Linlithgow, and Mid-Lothian, at least, it has wrought serious havoc in recent years. We have had some communication with Miss E. A. Ormerod, the well-known entomologist of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, on the subject, and she seems convinced that the attack is caused by very minute hematoid worms, sometimes known as eel-worms ; scientifically they were formerly known as Vibrio, now the many kinds known are classed together as Anguillulid. These wormlets are too small to be distinguished in the diseased oats by the naked eye. When magnified they are cylindrical, very long and narrow, somewhat tapering at each end, whitish and transparent. But as to the origin of the disease there is great diversity of opinion. A Linlithgowshire farmer says:~ez_mdash~"Two years ago I sowed a few acres with oats after beans, the rest of the field being barley; the barley was a good crop after turnips. The oats were all tulip-rooted, two rigs after turnips being worst. The field is oats this year, and the portion which was under oats two years ago was so badly gone with the disease in the beginning of June, that I have ploughed them down. The two rigs were even worse again after the turnips, and the rest of the field, which was barley, is quite clear of it. Now this clearly proves that the change of crop saved the rest of the field." A shrewd Mid-Lothian farmer attributes the disease to too frequent cropping; and he finds that the finest varieties are most liable to suffer. He does not believe the manuring, or the manure used, has anything to do with the disease. Miss Ormerod, on the

other hand, thinks that, in virtue of the wonderful power of Tylenchus tritici to recover, being moistened after lengthened confinement in their galls, there is a possibility of the disease being spread through the use of farmyard manure being mixed with diseased straw. If this be so, attention should be paid to collecting and burning rubbish in order that the wormlets may be destroyed. Deep ploughing, which puts such a weight on them that they cannot come up, is strongly recommended, but care should be taken that once down, they are left down not brought up again by subsequent processes of cultivation, and probably a dressing of gas lime, in caustic state, on the surface, would be efficacious in destroying the eel-worms on the surface. There can be no doubt that the rotation of crops is an important point to consider in attempting to remedy the disease. An Ayrshire farmer has satisfied himself that tulip-root is due to too frequent cropping. About 100 acres of his farm has been worked under a four course rotation, viz., green crop, wheat, hay, oats,~ez_mdash~and here the disease has been very disastrous. The other portion of his farm has always lain a few years under grass every rotation, and the disease has never appeared on it. In one or two cases the disease has been cured by a certain mode of treatment; and though this might not be remedial in every case, the following instance of successful treatment may be quoted: "On the first symptoms of disease appearing, the crop received a top-dressing of nitrate of soda, but this had no effect in checking its progress, and it became evident that the crop was likely to be destroyed. A trial was then made of half a cwt. per acre of sulphate of potash, which had the immediate effect of restoring life to the plant, and effectually causing the disease to disappear. The crop is now fully an average, and a small portion of the field, which was thought not badly affected, and received no top-dressing, is a failure."

Rye.~ez_mdash~This crop has dwindled almost to nothing. At no time did it occupy much space, but, with exception of a slight revival about 1881, it has declined very rapidly since 1857.

Beans.~ez_mdash~The bean crop has diminished nearly two-thirds within the past twenty-five years. Home grown beans are ground and used on a good many farms, and, though the crop scarcely covers 500 acres at the present time, the extensive dairy interests of the county save it from absolute extinction. The land for beans is wrought similarly to potato land, and the seed, which consists chiefly of the Kilbride and Granton varieties, is sown in drills; about 5 bushels per acre is an ordinary allowance of seed. Bean manure, whose principal constituent is potash, is liberally used, and from 40 to 50 bushels per acre is an average yield. The crop is harvested about the middle of September. It is shorn with hooks or reaping machine, and allowed to lie unbound until nearly dry.

Pease.~ez_mdash~This crop has nearly trebled in extent since 1857, and yet it has only reached 24 acres. Its extension is due to depreciation in the crop-growing value of land.

The fiars' prices of the county, for various years, were as follows: ~ez_mdash~

Hay~ez_mdash~Grass~ez_mdash~Permanent Pasture.

Hay.~ez_mdash~This is the principal forage crop. It has latterly been regaining lost ground, and is now more extensively cultivated than at any time since 1857. As the following table will show, it has increased fully 5000 acres within the past four years:~ez_mdash~

Its development has not been confined to any particular district. Upland and lowland alike, the hay crop has widened its area; and though prices are not now so high as they have been, it still retains the distinction of being the most profitable crop grown. It is made up of Italian ryegrass and Timothy hay, both of which are pretty equally distributed over cropping districts of the county. An ordinary allowance of seed, which is put in a week or ten days after the corn is sown, is about 2 bushels of ryegrass, and from 4 to 6 lbs. of clover per acre,~ez_mdash~the quantity of clover seed increasing with the natural rise of the district. The crop is liberally manured, sometimes with city manure, but more commonly with nitrate of soda, or sulphate of ammonia; and yields, on an average, about 2 tons per acre. Some of the strong land in the flat district gives an extraordinary return, occasionally approaching 3 tons, and the stiff soil of Lochwinnoch is also well adapted for the cultivation of ryegrass. On light thin land the yield dwindles to about 1 ton per acre.

Timothy hay is raised to great advantage. For twenty or more years it has been grown on an extensive scale in this county, and is year by year receiving increased attention from farmers. The cultivation entails a good deal of labour, as the land must be thoroughly cleaned and well prepared for the reception of the seed. A moderate seeding is 20 lbs. per acre, and, for the sake of the first year's crop, this is mixed with Italian ryegrass and clover seeds,~ez_mdash~the Timothy does not hay till the second year. It yields from 3 to 4 tons per acre, and commands good and remunerative prices in Glasgow and Paisley. Where water can be got, irrigation is carried on. This system never fails to increase the yield, and, with the assistance of a little city or other manure, it enables farmers to crop the same land for six, seven, and eight years in succession, with impunity. The Timothy meadows are so situated on several farms as to use up all the liquid manure about the steading. This invariably secures an excellent return, and, at the same time, keeps the soil in good heart. Where such stimulant cannot be had, police manure and nitrate of soda are freely applied with good results.

Ryegrass hay-making usually begins with the month of July in the lowland districts, and about a week later in the uplands. Timothy hay is reaped about the middle of July, and rich crops of aftermath are usually available by the first or second week of September. This second crop, however, is not generally cut; excepting in the neighbourhood of towns it is, as a rule, all pastured with stock. Farmers in the vicinity of towns have many advantages. One of these in this county is the ready outlet they enjoy for superfluous fodder or farm produce of any kind. Some farmers let considerable tracts of land to townspeople for raising early grass. This grass is timed to be cut in May, and is followed by a second crop, which is mown towards the end of August, and similarly disposed of~ez_mdash~sold in small quantities to contractors and cowfeeders in town.

The all-important operation of harvesting the hay crop is often rendered tedious by unseasonable weather. Serious loss sometimes results from excessive rains, and the hay-making season is one of the most anxious with the Renfrewshire farmer. If the weather is good, the work is very expeditiously performed, and continued sunshine enables farmers to cut and stack their hay in the course of ten days. Hay, intended for seed, is cut a week or so later than that for purely forage purposes ; and, with the crop maturing irregularly in this manner, the work of haymaking engages attention from the first of July till the third week of August. When cut for "seed," ryegrass hay is bundled into sheaves, and "hutted," and, as soon as practicable, thrashed. About 24 bushels is the average yield of seed per acre, which sells at various prices from 2s. up to 2s. 3d. per bushel.

Permanent Pasture.~ez_mdash~The disastrous seasons intervening between 1872 and 1879 inclusive, rapidly increased the extent of permanent grass. Since 1880, however, it has declined somewhat as the result of extension in hay-growing, but it is probable that it may ere long resume its progress. The best quality of pasture is found around the mansions of the nobility. These include the policy grounds of such residences as Erskine House, South Bar, Blythswood, Blackstone, Elderslie, Pollock, Hawkhead &c. It is generally let annually by public roup, and principally used for feeding cattle~ez_mdash~store beasts or in-calf cows, called back-calvers.

Silos and Ensilage.

The new system of preserving green fodder, known as ensilage, has been tried on several farms and estates. Renfrewshire, indeed, was one of the first counties to bring the silo to practical test. Upwards of twenty silos are already in use, and their owners almost to a man seem gratified with the results of their experiments.

Mr D. M. Hannay, Langhouse, Inverkip, constructed one silo. It is 9 feet square and 10 feet deep, and is built of concrete. Though mainly a converted building, its erection cost 13. It is filled with meadow and plantation grass, unchaffed, cut in August, and weighted to the pressure of 50 lbs. per square foot. The silo is filled at various times, and is opened in the end of January. The preserved grass or silage is then given to stock with good effect. When given to dairy cows at the rate of about 50 lbs. per day, along with two mashes, it greatly increases the product of milk.

Mr Laird, Bow Farm, Greenock, three years ago built two silos~ez_mdash~one a small stable 15 feet long by 12 feet wide, its depth being 10 feet; and the other a pit in a field 25 feet long by 16 feet wide, the depth being 6 feet. In the converted building, which cost 5, a small door was taken out of the gable for the purpose of filling, while it was fitted with a door at the bottom,, by which the silage was removed. The walls are pointed with cement, and the floor of the silo is above the surface of the ground. The field silo cost only 14s., two days of a man in casting it 7s., two days thatching and finishing it up 7s., and a stack of straw was built on it and thatched. The material ensiled consists of plantation and roadside grass in the bottom and aftermath on the top. The stable was three times filled, and the pit once. The weighting is supplied by stones to the extent of 160 lbs. per square foot in the stable, and a little less in the pit. The silage was trodden and beaten with stob in the stable, and by a horse in the pit. The filling up of the converted silo was commenced in July and finished in the first week of September, while the pit was filled in the first week of August, The latter was opened about the first week of January, and the former about two months later. The silage was good in both cases, excepting a slight waste on the top of the pit and round the edges of the stable. It was given to dairy cows after the supply of cabbages was finished, and did not materially alter the flow of milk. Cattle got an allowance of it daily in addition to turnips, hay, straw, and bean-meal, and they seemed to relish it; but Mr Laird considers that, like draff, it is sore upon cows, that they are never so full and contented as after chopped and dried food. Not having put any cows exclusively on silage, or weighed or measured the milk produced, he cannot say what the exact value of silage is as food. But before trying he thought its advocates claimed too much for it when they said the fodder would come out of the silo 25 per cent. better than when it was put in, and that it would enable the distressed agriculturist to surmount all his difficulties. The impression he formed of it after two years' experience was this, that the system involved three losses from the newly-cut grass ~ez_mdash~loss in feeding quality, loss by waste on the top and sides, and loss in weight. "Still," he adds, "there is no other way of getting green fodder all the year round."

Mr Smith, the tenant of Burnside, Kilmalcolm, is an enthusiast in the manufacture of silos. He erected one 32 feet long by 6 feet wide and 7 feet deep. It consists of concrete and cement, and cost 10, which was paid by the landlord. The silage is filled at various dates, and contains soft grass, oats, tares, ryegrass, clover, and weeds, and is carefully trodden and weighted with stones. The silo is opened early in spring, and the silage is very much relished by cows and other cattle. Mr Smith is highly satisfied with his success, and this year he has extended his operations. He has not had one per cent. of damaged fodder, and whether or not the process of ensilage improves the feeding value of fodder, he is convinced that it makes some plants more palatable if not more nutritious.

Lord Blantyre has tried the ensilage system on an extensive scale. At his home farm he built four most substantial silos under one roof. They are made of brick and cemented inside, concrete being used both in the walls and floor. Each silo measures 18 feet by 12 feet, and is 12 feet deep. They are sunk 3 feet below the surface, and are roofed with wood and slates. The total cost of the building was about 290. In previous years the silos were filled with green laid oats, beans, and tares, and all kinds of grass. The grasses turned out more satisfactory than the other fodder used, and were greedily consumed by stock; "and," his lordship's factor writes, "for clearing the avenues of soft grass and clearing road sides we have found the silos most useful, and the silage made from such feeds more stock than ever the inferior hay did made in former years from these grasses." This year two of the silos are filled with grasses and two with chopped beans, and his lordship awaits with interest the result with regard to the last-named rather novel material. The grasses are ensiled for the period of three months. They are weighted by means of planks and 56 lb. weights. These weights are convenient in as much as they are easily moved, and enable a man to regulate pressure as required. At the outset of the experiment it was thought that too much pressure could not be obtained, and in former years about 70 lbs. per square foot were brought to bear on the ensiled mass. Experience has shown, however, that less weight is sufficient, and the pressure has been reduced to some 25 lbs. per square foot. So far as can yet be observed the lessened weight is proving beneficial, the silage being sweeter than previously. The results of his lordship's experiments in past years were highly satisfactory, silage-fed cows producing decidedly better milk and butter, and more of them, than when fed on dry and matured fodder. About 30 lbs. of grass silage was given to six quarter old cattle daily, and all did well except a lot of bullocks, to which it seemed distasteful.

On the farm of East Glenshinnoch four silos were constructed by the landlord, and carefully filled in October with unchaffed clover and second hay and vetches by the industrious tenant, Mr Lambie. Each silo is 18 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 12 feet deep, and the cost of the four~ez_mdash~all new~ez_mdash~was 114. The tenant performed the cartages, which are not counted in the estimate. The walls are brick, coated with cement; the floor concrete, coated with cement; and the roof wood and slates. The building is sunk 2 feet below the surface. The silage is weighted with planks, 1 foot broad, 3 feet thick, and 9 feet long, and 56 lbs. weight, to the pressure of 2 cwts. per square yard. Not much waste has as yet been discovered, only a little on the top of the mass; but silage is never given to cows more freely than ordinary clover hay. It has not affected the supply of milk to any appreciable extent in this case, but, nevertheless, it was found to be good food for stock. Mr Lambie disapproves of chaffing the fodder before ensiling it, because this makes it more difficult to press; and also of putting hay or oats into the silo, provided they could be preserved any other way. The silo he finds most efficient and useful in preserving second crop clover, grasses, meadow hay, and green oats in later districts, and he thinks it should be a great boon to upland farmers. He believes it to be a source of health for his cattle in spring, after turnips are done, and he intends continuing the ensilage system tor that reason.

In the Lochwinnoch parish also this novel system of preserving grass has been introduced. On the farm of Muirshill, Mr C. Methven tried it in a silo measuring 21 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 10 feet deep. The back of the silo consisted of a stone wall built up the face of a high earthen bank, and the ends and sides are formed of boards. The silo cost 7, 10s., and was filled with unchaffed meadow grass. The weighting was supplied by means of casks filled with stone refuse, the average pressure being 112 lbs. per square foot. The filling operation occupied twelve days, 2 tons being put in each day, and the silage remained in the silo for fully four months. Some of it was damaged round the edges, but the bulk of the fodder was good when taken out. It was freely supplied to cows, along with 4 lbs. of bean meal and chaffed hay (steamed) per day, with good results. It not only increased the supply of milk, but considerably enriched its quality. Mr Methven considers that, in a changeable and late climate, such as that of his district, ensilage is of great advantage to farmers, as the loss in saving meadow hay in September is very great nearly every season; while with a silo there is very little loss. He tried it in 1884 as an experiment, and he intends to continue it.

We believe that ensilage in Renfrewshire has, if anywhere, a great future before it. The experiments carried out conclusively prove its utility, and the initiatory expense is probably the only barrier to its adoption. It is specially useful in late and wet climates, and this peculiarity singles it out as a matter of special importance to the farmers of this county. An extensive farmer in the parish of Neilston, writing to us the other day, says:~ez_mdash~"I believe that silos will be of great advantage to farmers. One of my neighbours built one last year, with the result that the ensiled grass was nearly twice over the worth of ordinary fodder as food for stock. And, besides, this system saves both labour and risk in securing hay in bad weather. I visited the silo, and was much pleased with it. The effect of silage on the dairy cows was an increase of both butter and milk." This is no isolated opinion. Many farmers in the county are favourably impressed with the system. Some little difficulty is experienced in the matter of weighting, but it will gradually disappear as the practice extends. It has already been successfully overcome in one instance, at least, at Ardgowan, the home farm of Sir Michael R. Shaw Stewart, by the adoption of a screw. This supplies adequate and very equal pressure, and may in course of time be brought into common use. An influential factor in the county says:~ez_mdash~"I uphold silos in Renfrewshire as being of great use in the saving and preserving all kinds of grass, and in increasing the feeding value of the same."

Green Crops.~ez_mdash~The acreage of green crops is fully a third less than that of 1857. Since 1881 it has decreased 1824 acres. The following statement shows the extent to which the various crops of this class are grown:~ez_mdash~

Year.

Turnips and
Swedes.

Potatoes.

Cabbages
and
Rape.

Vetches, &c,

Mangolds.

Carrots.

Total.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

1857

3470

5729

94

205|

76

18

9894

1870

2363

5486

59

254

39

12

8216

1875

2524

4270

150

228

136

13

7321

1881

2079

6042

83

222

52

16

8494

1885

2432

3738

268

178

41

13

6670

Turnips.~ez_mdash~These have not lost favour so fast or so far in Renfrewshire as in many other counties. They cover fully a thousand fewer acres than in 1857, and only occupy 2432 acres; still they are grown to some extent on every arable farm. The falling off is due to the extended use of dry food on dairy farms, to which we elsewhere refer. Land for the turnip crop is ploughed in the fall of the year, and then either ploughed again or grubbed, and frequently harrowed in spring. Farmyard or city manure is applied at various times. Some farmers plough it down in the autumn, while others prefer spreading it in the drills just before sowing. The allowance in either case varies from 25 to 30 tons per acre, and is supplemented with a few cwts. of artificial manures after the land is drilled. Swedish turnips are more heavily dunged than the other sorts, and are usually first sown. Sowing begins with Swedish turnips shortly before the Whitsunday term, and other sorts as soon as possible thereafter. Swedish seed is allowed to the amount of about 4 lbs. per acre, while from 3 lbs. to 4 lbs. is considered adequate seeding for yellow turnips. The plants, unless injured by the "fly," which occasionally necessitates second sowing, or retarded by some other untoward influence, are generally ready for singling by the first of July. They are left further apart than in most other counties~ez_mdash~from 9 to 11 inches. Both before and after being hoed the drill-harrow is energetically set to work and weeds are wonderfully well kept down considering the wet climate. The crop is pulled and stored as a rule in the month of November, but roots are used long before that time. The earliest bulbs are given to stock on some lowland farms before the end of September, being fed with well-studied moderation at the outset. Both Swedish and yellow turnips yield very irregularly~ez_mdash~from 12 tons per acre on some upland holdings to 25 tons on the rich lowland soils. The average yield of swedes may be put down at about 18 tons, and yellow turnips at about 16 tons. The roots are stored either in small pits on the land, or carted to the farm-steadings, where they are heaped into long rows about 3 feet deep and covered with potato haulms, straw, and earth. Considerable quantities are sold by farmers in the neighbourhood of Paisley or Glasgow, the price of swedes being about 1 per ton, and yellow turnips 15s.

Potatoes.~ez_mdash~The reduced demand and value of the favourite esculent have influenced potato cultivation in a marked degree. Some six or seven years ago potatoes occupied nearly two-thirds of the entire area under green crop, and reached to over 6000 acres. Now, however, matters have vastly changed. The stagnation of the potato trade for the last few years has rendered their cultivation unprofitable, and thus diminished the supply. Large quantities are still raised for the market, but growers have to be contented with greatly diminished prices. Regents and Champions are the principal varieties cultivated; but Red Bogs, Dalmahoys, Gryfes, Magnums, and Heroes are all grown to some extent in the middle ward of the county. For potatoes the land, in the ordinary green break, is prepared along with and similarly to that for turnips, and also dunged in like manner. But where they are grown after lea, which is a common practice, particularly in the western district, the land is turned in January with the American plough; and after being pulverised by means of the ordinary harrow, it is drilled across the single-plough furrow. Stable manure is generally used for this crop. The earlier varieties are dunged in the drill, but for the later sorts the manure is usually ploughed down in the fall of the year, and supplemented with a few cwts. per acre of nitrogenous manures in spring. Planting is begun as early as possible in April, and is generally finished by the end of the third week. Five bags, or about 20 bushels of seed, generally plant an acre, and if favourably planted the sprouts begin to appear in seven or eight weeks. During these eight weeks the drill harrow is worked amongst the drills, and is again brought into requisition immediately after the plants are hoed. The drills are in many cases twice furrowed up, the first covering being rubbed down by the harrow, and the last made and left intact just before the shaws meet over the drills.

The system known in Ireland as "lazy bedding" was practised in this county some ten or twelve years ago. Patches of rough waste land were "bedded" out into plots, from 4 to 5 feet wide, with a deep trench between them. The dung was spread over the surface of the plot, and the seedlings carelessly laid on and covered with a coating of earth from the trench. When the braird appeared another layer of earth was added. Good crops were thus raised, but the "lazy" system is now given up.

The Regent variety is usually ready for lifting by the middle of August, but Champions and the later sorts are seldom ready before the second week of October. The yield varies very much, according to the character of the soil and season. In favourable years it ranges from 6 to 10 tons, but from 4 to 5 tons has been no uncommon return of recent years. In 1879 the crop was almost an entire failure on many farms. The county has acquired considerable fame as a nursery of seed potatoes, and a large percentage of the marketable tubers are sold for seeding purposes. The mossland around Paisley is admirably suited for potato culture, and the highest currencies are invariably realised for potatoes grown in this district. The crop is disposed of in various ways. Some farmers sell it by the acre ; others by the ton ; and a few by smaller measure. A few years ago Regents sold at from 25 to 28 per acre, but current value falls very much short of these figures. From 14 to 18 per acre is now a commoner price, and only in a few cases is the latter sum obtained. Large quantities of seed potatoes are sold by auction in the Paisley district early in spring. The demand is chiefly by Ayrshire growers, who have elevated the " land of Burns " to the first position in Scotland in the matter of potato growing. At the annual sale of seed potatoes on the Fulwood Moss Farm, occupied by the Glasgow Corporation, last year, the average price obtained was 4, 11s. l0d. per ton over all, the early varieties averaging 6, 2s. 10d., and the later sorts sorts 2, 16s. 4d. The extremes were 7, 10s. for a lot of " Dons," and 2 for Magnum Bonums. The average price of the several varieties was as follows :~ez_mdash~Don, 7, 2s. 1d.; Goodrich, 6, 9s. 6d.; Red Bog, 6, 0s. 10d.; Dalmahoy, 5, 18s.; Gryffe Castle (early), 4, 18s. 4d.; Kirk's Regent, 3, 8s. 3d.; Hero, 2, 6s.; and Magnums, 2, 2s. 8d. per ton.

The following is an interesting account of the method adopted of preparing early potatoes for the market by one of the oldest farmers in the county:~ez_mdash~In order to give the potato every chance to be ready for the earliest markets the seed is started in boxes 30 inches long, 21 inches wide, and 3 inches deep, with corner posts 6 inches long, having a rail across. The rails across the top of the corner posts act as handles to the boxes when they are placed one on another. The boxes have a free circulation of air through them. The manner of boxing is as follows:~ez_mdash~The "seconds" or "middlings" of the kind selected are dressed by an inch-and-a-quarter riddle, and if ripe are put into the boxes when dug, say in September or October. If the seconds of the early grown ones are taken, they are put into thin pits and covered with straw to allow them to ripen, and are then put into boxes, say in September. The boxes are tilled with potatoes only, and are put on the top of one another in a place where there is no danger of frosts, and where they may have a little heat, if necessary, in winter. As a rule there is more difficulty in keeping back the shoots than otherwise, and if the potatoes are kept moderately warm and sprung about half or three-quarters of an inch about 1st February, and then put into a cool place to harden before being planted, they are all the better. With regard to the manures used, dung or seaweed is generally applied on the top and ploughed in with a thin furrow in autumn, and if on lea (which is always preferable for growing early potatoes), it is better to be put on as early as possible to wash into the grass. It is considered scarcely practicable to grow potatoes on lea for any length of time without heavy manure, unless a great deal of feeding stuff is consumed on the grass. Generally speaking, where land is used principally for growing potatoes, it is two years under potatoes, dung, if possible, being applied in one of the two years, and two years' grass sown out after potatoes. As to planting, with boxed potatoes this should not be done too early, say the second week of March. The drills ought to be made 26 inches wide, as it is important that potatoes for early use should be planted in shallow drills and covered deep after planting. In this way a week of difference in raising may be made. The boxes with potatoes are taken to the field and planted out, two planters taking one box. Peruvian guano of good quality is the best manure for early potatoes, but it cannot always be relied upon. Latterly a compound manure made up of phosphate guano and guano along with sulphate of ammonia and sulphate of potash has been found the most beneficial. This is applied at the rate of 8 to 12 cwts. per imperial acre, according to the quantity of heavy manure applied, and costs at present about 9 per ton. The great object of course is to have the crop as early as possible in the market, and if this can be managed a good price is obtainable even at present.

Cabbages.~ez_mdash~These have nearly trebled in extent since 1860, being raised for the use of dairy cattle in the months of October and November. They are reckoned of much importance as milk-producing food. Bound about Paisley and Glasgow, however, where they are most extensively grown, they are sold to greengrocers in the respective towns. The soil of the upper ward of the county is admirably adapted for the cultivation of cabbages, and on several farms they gave a better return than turnips. When carefully pitted on the land, they can be preserved for a considerable length of time.

Rape.~ez_mdash~Rape is grown to a very limited extent. On their home farms, Sir Michael Shaw Stewart, Bart., and Lord Blantyre, sow it along with grass seeds; and after it attains a considerable height it is consumed by sheep.

Vetches.~ez_mdash~This is purely a "catch" crop. It is grown for use in the end of harvest, when stock are being taken off the pastures. It is very useful, but has been steadily decreasing since 1870 - a fact due to the more liberal feeding with semi-ripe cereals, hay, and cabbages.

Mangolds.~ez_mdash~These are less popular than they were some thirty years ago. Only some 40 acres are now grown. They thrive best on soil deposited by brackish water, and their growth is thus entirely confined to the better class land on the bank of the Clyde. Their manurial and other treatment resembles that of turnips, almost the only difference being the application of pure salt, the presence of which is indispensable for their successful cultivation.

Carrots.~ez_mdash~These are chiefly the production of market gardeners, but they are also used for feeding horses. They are supplied raw along with oats, and are much relished by the animals. The soil is not particularly well adapted for the growth of carrots.

Flax.~ez_mdash~About the beginning of the century flax was grown on a good many farms. It was very exhausting on the soil, and after it became so largely imported from Russia and foreign countries, it died out about 1860, or perhaps a little later. In 1856 fully 16 acres were devoted to its growth, but only half that acreage was planted in 1857.

Cattle.

Ayrshire cattle have long dominated the county of Renfrew. Attention appears to have been directed to their improvement as early as the Reformation; and towards the end of last century they were supposed to have reached an eminent degree of perfection. Tradition asserts that the cow which founded the Patons' famous herd at Swinlees, Ayrshire~ez_mdash~ probably the most noted herd of the breed in the eighteenth century~ez_mdash~was bred in the parish of Kilmalcolm. Be this as it may, there can be no doubt as to the progress of the breed during the past half century. Some well-informed breeders believe that more good animals have, within that time, been bred in Renfrewshire than in all the other Scotch counties put together. The Messrs Kerr, Barrodger; Reid, Auchengowan; Robertson, Caldwell; Holm, Jaapston; Harvey, Cairn; Gillespie, Boylestone; Pollock, Blackhouse; Paton, Bankhead; Wilson, Forehouse; Lang, Kilbride; Bartlemore, Lochwinnoch; and Sir Michael B. Shaw Stewart, are entitled to rank well forward among the improvers of the breed. Their names were familiar wherever Ayrshire cattle were shown, and most of them are familiar still. Mr John Reid, late of Auchengowan, bred many very fine animals, mostly of Swinlees blood, and exhibited them far and near with much success. After his death the herd was managed by his son John Reid, who was secretary of the Lochwinnoch and Johnstone Agricultural Societies. Mr John Reid, however, died a few years ago, and consequently the herd had to be brought to the hammer~ez_mdash~a fact which, in view of its excellence and prosperity, occasioned widespread regret among fanciers of the breed.

Probably the oldest strain of Ayrshire blood in the county is to be found in the herd of Mr Wilson, Boghall, Houston. This family of Wilsons has, for a very long time, been associated with the progress of the breed, the ancestors of the present tenant of Boghall having for generations taken an active interest in its welfare.

The herd of Mr Holm, Jaapston, though established comparatively recently, has, by skilful management, been brought into prominence. For many years it has been successfully represented at all the leading exhibitions in the West of Scotland. Mr Holm's "Bright Smile" (1307), which won the Ayrshire Cattle Herd Book Prize as the best cow in 1882, is probably one of the finest female specimens of the breed on record. Her progeny are likely to prove of inestimable value to the improvers of the breed. She is the dam of Mr Holm's present stud bull, whose services are being widely patronised by more breeders than his owner.

Sir M. R. Shaw Stewart is one of the most successful breeders and exhibitors of Ayrshire cattle in Scotland. At the county show, and elsewhere, he takes a foremost place in the prize lists, which he well deserves to do. He is a liberal supporter of the Renfrewshire Show financially, and an enthusiastic and judicious breeder and buyer of stock. His success beyond the county is exceedingly creditable. At the Edinburgh Highland and Agricultural Show in 1869, and again at the Kelso Highland Show in 1872, he carried, in addition to numerous other honours, the first prize for aged bulls of the Ayrshire breed, his Kelso winner being an animal which was bred in Renfrewshire. Sir Michael has also won distinguished prizes in the national show-yards of recent years, especially for heifers.

The herd of Mr Robert Gillespie, Boyleston, though not a very old one, is not unknown to fame. At the Highland Show at Glasgow in 1875 with " Scottish Chief," and at Aberdeen in 1876 with " Cardigan," he won first honours in the bull classes, and he has bred many good animals since.

But, making due allowance for the enterprise and success of the breeders we have mentioned, no name, perhaps, is more closely bound up with the history and progress of the breed than that of Mr Wilson.

Mr James Wilson bred a handsome bull, which headed the aged class at the Highland and Agricultural Society's Show at Glasgow as early as 1838; while Mr Alexander Wilson of Fore-house, Kilbarchan, was an eminent and very successful breeder and owner of Ayrshires. The latter gentleman has been worthily succeeded by his son, Mr Robert Wilson, who recently transferred the old Forehouse herd to Manswrae, and still follows, with admirable skill and success, the track of his predecessors. As an exhibitor, Mr Robert Wilson made a very promising start in 1869 by winning two prizes at the Highland and Agricultural Society's Show at Glasgow. One of his winners was "General Grant," a bull which did noble service in raising the character of the breed ; the other was his "Mearns" cow, which afterwards proved so valuable. To the service of "General Grant" in the Glasgow showyard she produced in due course a bull calf, which passed into the hands of Mr James Wilson, Boghall, and rejoicing in the name of " President." He followed the footsteps of his celebrated sire by heading the aged bull class at the Perth Highland and Agricultural Show in 1871. The "Mearns" cow was first prize winner when in milk at Aberdeen Highland Show in 1868, and was regarded as one of the best females of her day. She was bred by Mr Robert Harvie, Cairn, Mearns, and won numerous first prizes other than those already mentioned, while her excellence as a breeder was oftener than once attested. Previous to the "President," the Perth Show hero, she bore "Edina," which, as an aged bull, carried leading honours at Ayr and Glasgow open shows while in Mr Wilson's possession.

In addition to the triumphs we have enumerated, he headed the aged Ayrshire bull class at the Dumfries Highland Show in 1870 with " Lord Raglan" (446), bred by Mr George Bartle-more, then tenant of Auchensale, Kilbarchan. Again, at the great Centenary Show of the Highland and Agricultural Society at Edinburgh in 1884 he gained the first prize for the family group of Ayrshires, all bred by himself. He headed the lists of the York Show of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 1883, and the Preston Royal of 1885 ; and this autumn (1886) he secured considerable distinction at the London Dairy Show. Mr Wilson, though still breeding Ayrshires and farming in the parish of Kilbarchan, some years ago established an auction mart for Ayrshire dairy cattle at Paisley, which has become one of the most important and successful of its kind in the west of Scotland.

Few people have done more to vindicate the honours of this very excellent dairy breed than the Lochwinnoch Bartlemore family. One member after another distinguished himself in the breeding of Ayrshires, and the present Mr William Bartlemore, to whose fine herd we previously adverted, seems determined to uphold his ancestral reputation. With "Baron o' Buchlyvie" (281) he won the first prize in the aged bull class at the Stirling Highland Show in 1881; while, for the same animal, he secured the special prize awarded at Ayr the following year for the best " Herd Book" bull. "Baron o' Buchlyvie" achieved a still greater victory in 1883. In that year he championed the breed at the Royal English Agricultural Show, and established for himself a name whose connection is, and will doubtless continue to be, much coveted by breeders. During a showyard career of unbroken success, he was freely used in Renfrewshire, and left a large number of fine cattle in the county. No later than the first of the present month (October 1886) one of his grandsons secured for Mr Bartlemore the medal at the London Dairy Show. But these are only two of the many animals brought out by Mr Bartlemore of recent years. In 1884 this celebrated exhibitor carried first honours and the special prize offered for the best bull, at Ayr, with "Royal Star" (682), which was extensively used by farmers in the Lochwinnoch parish. In the same year, and in a still wider field~ez_mdash~at the Edinburgh Centenary Show, the most memorable of its kind in Scottish agriculture~ez_mdash~the invincible "Silver King," a fine specimen of the Ayrshire breed, won for Mr Bartlemore, in addition to class honours, the special prize offered for the best Ayrshire bull. Again, in the autumn of 1884 this finely-shaped animal, after a severe struggle with Mr Walter's royal champion bull "Young English Gentleman" bore the palm at the London Dairy Show,~ez_mdash~a victory of which his breeder may well be proud. Last year "Hover a Blink," the sire of Silver King, carried the Herd Book prize at Ayr, and headed his classes both at the Royal English and the Highland and Agricultural Society's shows at Preston and at Aberdeen respectively. This bull did good service in the county, and his progeny are very excellent and promising. At the Ayrshire Show last spring (1886), for example, all the leading young bulls were sired by him.

Before referring to the breeding and management of the ordinary commercial cattle, it may be of interest to give some indication as to the number of cattle of different ages kept in the county. This is furnished by the following table:~ez_mdash~

Year.

Cows and
Heifers in
Milk and
in Calf.

Two years old and upwards.

Under two years old.

Total.

1857
1870
1875
1881
1885

11,533 13,479 14,883 15,333 16,131

7779
3949
4228
3615
4202

3086
5847
6686
6101
7286

22,398 23,275 25,797 25,049 27,619

The only explanation necessary in connection with these figures - which tell their own tale~ez_mdash~is that in 1857 only calves

ere enumerated in the class under two years of age. This accounts for the discrepancy shown in the numbers of cattle other than cows and heifers; but the first class and total numbers of that year are perfectly comparable. The breeding of stock is not an important branch of farming in this county. That is to say, it is not so widely adopted as might be expected; but over the higher and more inland parts ' a good many animals are annually reared. Most farmers breed a few every year, chiefly for keeping up their dairy stocks. A good number, however, prefer buying in the necessary stock, it being a consideration of some moment to get the cows as near one age as possible. In the Mearns and one or two other parishes breeding was at one time more extensively carried on than it has been of recent years. The development of the sweet milk trade curtailed breeding very much, and with the extremely low value of cattle since 1884 there has been little encouragement for its extension. The system of management has altered not a little since 1860. That it has improved is testified both by the amount of feeding stuff consumed, and the enhanced quality of the stock, which are as a rule well-bred and fashionable. The young stock are now served earlier than they used to be. This change was introduced some twelve or thirteen years ago, with great advantage. Previously surplus heifers were sold in the month of April, due to calve when three years old. Now they are mated so as to produce their first calf some six months earlier. They are thus largely sold off in December, which effects a saving of "keep" to the exposer. As to whether or not breeding might take a more prominent place in the economy of the county there is much difference of opinion; but were prices to rise to remunerative rates, we think this branch of farming should merit increased attention. The Ayrshire is really the only regular breed kept, but cross-bred cattle are bought in and fattened on several farms. These are usually brought from the north of Scotland and Ireland. Northern Scotch bullocks are found to answer the graziers' purpose very well, better perhaps than Irish; still there is a fairly good demand for the latter sort. Some graziers buy in cattle from the Western Islands, which also thrive very well on Renfrewshire pastures. The bullocks are mainly fattened on the grass, and comparatively few are carried through the winter.

Dairy Farming.

The number of cows kept for dairy purposes is well nigh two-thirds of the whole cattle of the county. In this respect Renfrewshire ranks seventh among the ten dairy counties in Scotland, while it stands third in regard to the number of cows devoted to the production of milk, fourth in the number kept for butter, and seventh for cheese. Some 8700 cows are estimated to be kept solely for milk, 5400 for butter, and about 200 for cheese. The annual death-rate as a rule is high, but the mortality in seven of the other ten dairy counties is still greater~ez_mdash~the average over the ten being 3.68, and the average of Scotland 3.49.

The dairies kept on the arable farms are either for the production of milk to be sold fresh or sweet, or for butter, and in a few cases for both. Most of those near Glasgow and Paisley, or the collieries between Johnstone and Paisley, sell their milk sweet, while those farther upland make butter. On this class of farms, under either system of dairying, few farmers raise as many young cows as supply themselves; in fact, many rear none at all, each relying on the supply of cows at all times furnished by the periodical fairs at Paisley, Renfrew, and Rutherglen, the weekly markets at Glasgow, and the Paisley auction mart, where calving stock are sold every Monday. The markets are largely supplied with cows calved or near the calving, not only from the higher lands of the county, but chiefly from the more distant rearing districts, such as Ayr, Argyle, and Lanark, so that there never is any difficulty in obtaining the number of cows required. In this district the feeding is generally very heavy, in many cases being only limited by the powers of digestion in the animals, and although by this system the losses are acknowledged to be great, it is still considered the most profitable. In order to keep up a more or less regular supply of milk all the year over, cows must be had to calve periodically from the one end of the year to the other, requiring a much larger number to be kept than are actually in milk. The cropping arrangements and fences of many of the farms do not admit of these being kept at home during summer; while in winter, owing to the value of straw for selling, and the scarcity of housing, there is also a difficulty in accommodating a large number of yeld cows. The keeping of these has, in consequence, almost entirely been thrown on the hands of dealers and graziers, who buy them in the spring and summer them on outside pastures, bringing them near the date of their calving to be sold at the most convenient fair or market. The profit of dairying under this system is very much regulated by the skill with which the cows are managed, and the cows originally bought or sold, and how the produce is disposed of. In winter they are largely fed on artificial foods, which consist principally of bean or pea meal, draff, Paisley meal, maize meal, bran, &c, in addition to the usual quantities of hay, straw, and roots grown on the farm; while in summer they get grass, with more or less of these added. Linseed cake is not very extensively used, and cotton cake is much less so, the latter, owing to its concentrated and indigestible nature, being not well liked. Food of this class is generally given cooked and warm, mixed with chaff or cut hay or straw, and boiled roots. The heavy land of a great portion of this district suits badly for the growth of roots, the small supply of which, during winter, makes the feeding of dairy cows a matter of difficulty. Indeed, without succulent food of some kind or other, such can scarcely be successfully done. It is here that skill in management comes in, for while one person will see and know at a glance when his cows are having as much of any particular kind of food as they can safely use, another will neither see nor know when they have got enough, or even more than enough, so that serious loss is often the result, when, as often as not, something other than the real cause is blamed for it. It is this constant personal attention which makes dairying (no matter of what kind) so irksome, as there always appears to be a difficulty in getting hired labour to carry out conscientiously the minute details of milking and feeding which the system requires. On a very few farms silage has been tried with fair success, but, as yet, silos have only been introduced to a small extent. The system, however, is capable of being very largely extended, and we think few districts in Scotland are more suitable for its success. The climate is moderately early ; manure, owing to the proximity of Glasgow, is cheap, and easily obtained. Hay is one of the largest crops grown in the county, and the district is fully as wet as the average of Scotland, so that the making of a second crop of hay is almost an impossibility, owing to the fogs to which the lowlands of the Clyde are liable every autumn. As far as we can see, there is therefore no reason why preparations should not be made for raising as large a second crop of hay as possible, and all, or the greater portion of it (if not more or less of the first crop) stored in silos for the use of the cows in winter. It is quite true, good crops of second cut hay cannot always be obtained, even by the use of fertilisers, of which the present year is a notable example, but neither can crops of turnips or other roots always be depended on, even where more labour and manure are expended on them than is done on the second crop of hay.

The milk produced, when sold sweet, is either carted direct, immediately after the morning's milking, to a retailer in one of the populous centres, or is sold in the street from the farmer's cart. The smaller class of farmers generally sell their milk themselves, when they can do so personally; but where such has to be done by a stranger, success has not always attended the venture. On those farms where butter is made, it is either distributed among a number of grocers, who retail it; or if the butter-milk is sold by the farmer from his cart, he generally retails his butter also direct to the consumer.

It is, however, on the second-class lands of the county, viz. those without the 6 or 7 mile radius from Renfrew, that the dairying of the county attains its maximum. Here the farms more favourably situated for retailing the milk, or sending it by rail, sell sweet milk ; while those further inland make butter, and either sell or consume, by pigs, the butter-milk; while those furthest away from the towns make cheese. One or two farms in this locality are devoted to the summer feeding of cattle, but they are only a few. Nearly all rear as many stock as supply their own wants, and a few breed more. Winter dairying is not practised so extensively as it is lower down, the summer pasture being principally depended on for the produce of the dairy. This pasture, however, is all of the very finest class possible, which, owing to the nature of the soil and underlying rocks and dripping climate, always is of a deep green colour. All summer the whole country side presents a fresh green appearance, to be met with, perhaps, in no other county in Scotland, unless in North Ayrshire.

In the western district, dairying, although the principal industry of the farm, takes a different phase from that of the central or eastern part of the county. The principal demand for milk is for the supply of the summer visitors at Wemyss Bay, Inverkip, and Gourock, and as the demand is almost nil during winter, there is little or no winter dairying. The cows in consequence get a long rest in winter, and after calving in spring, they are put oat to the pasture, so that they are reared and fed in a very natural manner. As there is not much demand for milk early in spring, the calves get a good supply, which gives them a fair start in life, and this constitutes the district a valuable rearing one. Cows in this parish~ez_mdash~Inverkip~ez_mdash~probably yield as much value in a year as in the finer grazing parishes of Kilbarchan and Mearns, because the milk here is most valuable when it is most plentiful; whereas in the others it is the reverse. As a grazing district it is, however, not to be compared to any of the other parishes along the southern border of the county. The best dairying parish is probably Mearns, than which there are few better. It, with the other grazing parishes of Eagles-ham, Neilston, Lochwinnoch, part of Kilbarchan, Houston, and Erskine, and all Kilmalcolm, have, as already stated, a fair depth of soil lying on the trap rock; and a climate admirably suited to the growth of grass. The butter made in these parishes generally is sold into the villages between them and Glasgow, the latter, as is to be expected, getting the bulk of the produce, which is either supplied by the farmers to shops, or from their carts to the public. This locality has for a very long time been famous for its production of butter; and certainly few districts are more favourably situated for this than the parishes of Mearns and Eaglesham. The climate is if anything a little late, but the rainfall and soil are all that could be desired, and the thick green sward which the whole county usually presents, bears ample testimony to the fact that the people of these parishes have adopted the system of farming best suited to the locality. The quantity and quality of butter produced are always up to a high standard of excellence, if the requisite skill in its manufacture has been exercised; while the class of cows reared is generally good, both for size and milking capabilities. Districts which, on the ordinary produce of the soil, can without any undue amount of hand feeding rear a large animal, are generally set down as being more than average in fertility, and to this class belong Mearns and the surrounding district. Winter dairying is not practised so extensively as lower down, and consequently less artificial foods are required. If grass is anything like plentiful, little or no hand feeding is given in summer ; while in spring, autumn, and winter it is principally confined to bean and pea meal, with a small quantity of Indian meal, Paisley meal, and linseed cake. Draff is very little used in the butter dairies, as its use almost invariably causes the butter to be of a very pale colour, and bad quality.

From Lochwinnoch, down through Kilbarchan and Kilmalcolm to Port-Glasgow, the same system of dairying is pursued as is practised in the Mearns and Eaglesham district, with, however, a little more cropping on at least the lower farms. As Port-Glasgow and Greenock are near, however, butter dairying gives place to the sale of sweet milk, the demand for which in both places is always good. This demand is considerably increased by the limited area from which the supply is available, the sea taking up one side, while the hills approach very near to the town on the other. Both Port-Glasgow and Greenock draw a good quantity of their milk supply by rail from Ayrshire and even Wigtownshire, without which the towns would be anything but well supplied. On the farms furthest inland, where the butter milk can only be sold at great expense, a large portion of it is used in pig feeding and calf rearing, for which it is well suited, when judiciously mixed with some concentrated food.

The butter instructor of the Ayrshire Agricultural Association visited the lower part of the county in 1884, and gave several demonstrations of his skill; but with that exception little has been done for the improvement of the industry, other than what is provided by the annual competitions at the local cattle and other shows.

A few farms on the extreme southern boundary of the county make small quantities of cheese, but this industry is not in favour amongst Renfrewshire farmers.

As already stated, the larger portion of the products of the dairy are sold as milk in one or other of its different forms, sweet or fresh milk being probably in larger quantity than any other. With few exceptions, all the sweet milk is delivered to the consumer or retailer by the farmer's cart, it being only on the southernmost part of the county that a very few farmers send in their milk by rail, Lochwinnoch probably sending as much as all other places together. Delivered wholesale by the farmer's cart at from 5.30 to 6.15 A.M., this milk realises an average from 8d. to 9d. per gallon all the year round, where a fair quantity is kept up during the winter. In summer little of this class of milk is sold under 6d. per gallon, and at its dearest, contracts cannot now be made over 10d. per gallon. If delivered by rail it comes in later in the day; and when the supply is larger and the demand smaller, prices recede considerably. So much so is this the case that in many instances " railway " milk is bought at from 1d. to 1d. or even 2d. per gallon less than the same quantity of milk delivered early in the morning. Some farmers' carts come a long way, 10 and 12 miles being no uncommon distance, but 7 miles may be regarded as the average of the sweet milk trade. The cost of carting milk such a distance is a much heavier item than most farmers are aware of, and must run from d. to 1d. per gallon for delivering. The work also must be attended to on Sunday and Saturday, summer and winter, in sickness and health; and where any quantity of milk has to be delivered, two horses must be kept, so that the one may take the place of the other in case of accident. Many farmers retail their milk direct from the cart to the consumers; while others sell it in gallons and larger quantities to the smaller milk shops. Delivered to the smaller milk shops, the prices realised run from 10 to 20 per cent. over that given by the wholesale dealer. The trouble is, however, a great deal more and the risk something excessive, so that unless where a farmer is personally selling his own milk few can make it pay. The retail prices of milk in Glasgow, Paisley, and Greenock may be reckoned as from 10d. to 1s. per gallon in summer, and from 1s. to 1s. 4d. in winter. These profits seem heavy, but it does not appear that the trade can be successfully carried on for much less, as it is the fewest number who succeed. Around Wemyss Bay and Inverkip the price realised for sweet milk during both summer and winter is considerably more than in any other part of the county. The difference between the midsummer and midwinter supplies is very little; prices may be quoted at from 1s. 2d. to 1s. 4d. per gallon retail all the year over.

In the butter-making districts of the county, where easy access can be had to Glasgow, Paisley, Greenock, or other populous centres, the butter milk is in many cases carted there and retailed from the cart at about 1d. per gallon, or sold in cart or van loads to bakers at from d. to 1d. per gallon. Butter milk fed to calves or pigs at home is not calculated to be worth over |d. per gallon. The butter made in the county is all sold fresh, and is either used locally or sent to Glasgow. Last summer's price would run from 10d. to 1s. 1d. per lb.; and last winter from 1s. 1d. to 1s. 4d. These prices are considerably below those current a few years ago, when 1s. 4d. in summer and 1s. 6d. to 1s. 8d. in winter was the common price.

The little cheese made on the extreme outside of the county generally also meets a local sale, its present worth being from 45s. to 55s. per cwt. with the whey from each cow, valued at about 1.

Horses.

A well-earned fame has long attached to Renfrewshire for her enterprise in breeding horses. The stock kept for agricultural purposes are purely Clydesdales, and so intimately associated has she become with this justly celebrated breed, and so prominent a part has she played in its promotion, that a history of her doings in this department is practically the history of Clydesdale horse-breeding. Be this as it may, this county has produced more enthusiastic breeders, perhaps, than any other in the kingdom, and many of the largest and best known stock-raisers and owners the trade has ever boasted have resided in Renfrewshire. In attempting to describe her attainments in Clydesdale horse-breeding we are first made familiar with the name of William Fulton, Sproulston, in Lochwinnoch, who bred and reared "Clyde" alias "Glancer" (153), popularly known as the ruptured horse, "Rob Roy" (714), and many other horses which attained distinction as sires; and next with that of John Barr, Barrangry, Erskine, who owned "Prince Royal" (647), "General Williams" (326), "Jack's the Lad" (400), and "Garibaldi" (312)~ez_mdash~all of which were well known and valuable stud horses.

The name of Andrew Logan, Crowflats, Kilbarchan, is inseparable from the annals of the breed. Mr Logan bred and owned many distinguished horses, including the invincible "Samson" (741), which left a deeper impression in the county than any other animal on record. The Keir stud is still largely composed of "Samson" blood; while he was the grandsire of the 900 guinea twenty-years-old horse "Prince of Wales" (673) and the renowned champion "Darnley" (222), whose death has just been announced in his fifteenth year. Besides breeding " Samson," which, by the way, was also half-brother to "Lord Clyde" (477), which left such an excellent impression in Kinross-shire, Mr Logan owned some notable mares. Prominent amongst these was a daughter of "Prince Royal" (647), bred by Mr Kinloch, Kilmalcolm, which acquired celebrity for her show-yard achievements. The late Samuel Clark, Mans-wraes, Kilbarchan, was a very successful and prominent exhibitor of entire horses. For many years he was recognised as chieftain of the trade, and a descriptive list of the horses he possessed would make a lengthy history of itself. One of the finest animals ever owned by him was "Clyde" (155), which won the first prize at the Highland and Agricultural Society's Show at Glasgow in 1844. This horse proved an impressive sire, and many of his good qualities are still traceable in Wigtownshire and elsewhere. He also owned "Lofty" (455), the Kintyre-bred sire of "Samson" (741), the sire of "Lofty" being the well-known "Farmer's Fancy" (298), which was bred in Renfrewshire and afterwards used in Kintyre. Among the others owned by Mr Clark was the Renfrew bred stallion "Young Lofty" (989), which gained the Glasgow Agricultural Association premium in 1866, and again in 1867, and was thereafter transported to Derbyshire, where he became the sire of several of those showyard heroines which the late Lawrence Drew purchased. Horses belonging to Mr Clark may be said to have at sometime or other travelled the whole length and breadth of Scotland, as well as a portion of England. He was an enthusiast in selecting, and knew his business well. He frequently acted as a judge at leading agricultural shows; his last appearance in a judicial capacity was at the Inverness Highland Show in 1874, where met in combat the meritorious "Pride of Scotland" (602) and the renowned "Royal Prince" (732). Mr Clark died in 1877.

Another name deserving of honourable mention in this connection is that of Foster King, Longhaugh, Erskine. He bred and owned "Prince of Wales" (666), a horse of excellent reputation in many important stock-breeding districts~ez_mdash~particularly in the upper and middle wards of Lanarkshire. Other Clydesdale enthusiasts we find rejoicing in the name of Park. To men versed in Clydesdale lore there has been, and ever will be, a familiar ring in the name of Glenshinnoch ; while Hatton has made a bold effort to drown its chime. The father of the present respected tenant of Glenshinnoch, in the parish of Erskine, was an energetic breeder of Clydesdales; the present Mr Park follows suit; and younger generations of the family, which are creditably represented by William Park, formerly of Gallowhill, Paisley; James Park of Deckmont, Cambuslang; and Walter S. Park, Hatton, have successfully upheld their

ancestral name. The Hatton stud is one of the best in Scotland at the present time. The mares in it are, without exception, of the fine old Clydesdale type, and include the dam of "Lord Erskine" (1744), which was bred here. This horse is one of the best animals the county has produced, being alike famous for his showyard success and breeding properties.

Some thirteen years ago David Riddell, an enterprising breeder of and dealer in Clydesdales, became tenant of the farm of Blackhall, near Paisley, and it has since been the home of an excellent stud of entire horses. The distinctive features of the stud are its wealth in "Prince of Wales" and "Darnley" blood, which is very highly appreciated and prized where known or tried. It may be mentioned that the most successful sires at the nine largest shows of 1886 at which Clydesdales were exhibited were those of the same tribe as the late "Darnley." The grand old horse himself had more prize animals and more first prize animals in the field than any other sire. Eighteen of his sons and one grandson were amongst the most successful sires of prize stock, and only one of the nineteen was out of a mare believed to be from the south.

"Keir Peggy" (187), the favourite mare of the late Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, Bart., was bred by the late Hugh Whyte, Barnbrock, Kilbarchan. She has distinguished herself in showyard and stud, and as the dam of the far-famed "Darnley" and several other well-known animals we could mention, she may justly be regarded as one of the most valuable mares ever reared in the west of Scotland.

Sir Michael R. Shaw Stewart, Bart., has within the past five years helped liberally to improve the breed of horses in the lower ward of Renfrewshire. In addition to the familiar "Top Gallant" (1850), which he keeps for use in the district, he gives a handsome premium frequently for the services of a high class horse for breeding purposes among his tenants. As the winner of this premium the fine stallion " Sanquhar " (2393) travelled the district for two years with highly gratifying results.

Amongst the parishes of the county, Kilmalcolm probably bears the palm as regards horse-breeding. It has an annual show of its own, which for Clydesdale merit would surpass many county exhibitions in Scotland. Most of the farmers in the district are conversant with the characteristics of the breed, and a healthy rivalry exists amongst them in the matter of stock-breeding. The most successful breeders are unquestionably the Messrs Love, Margaret's Mill and Jordanshaw. They are zealous in their endeavours to improve the breed, and have displayed praiseworthy foresight and discretion in disposing of their stock. Their mares are all of high merit, and the sires represented in their stud are principally "Prince of Wales" (666), "Prince of Wales" (673), and "Pride of Scotland" (602). Mention of the last-named stallion recalls the name of one who, though only a short time in the trade, owned many fine horses. We refer to the late Robert Brewster, Branchall, Kilmalcolm. Almost every large exhibition gives fresh evidence of the sound judgment he exercised in selecting his horses. Three of the first prize-winners at the memorable centenary show of the Highland and Agricultural Society at Edinburgh in 1884, for example, were out of mares whose sire ~ez_mdash~"Prince Charlie" (629)~ez_mdash~was first owned by him. "Prince Charlie" was also the sire of the dam of Andrew Montgomery's "Macgregor" (1487), as well as many other famous horses. Among the other notable horses that passed through Mr Brewster's hands were "Young Garibaldi" (972), "Marquis" (517), "Surprise" (845), "Duke of Dairy," and last, but not least, the renowned "Pride of Scotland" (602).

Turning from the lower to the upper ward of the county we are reminded of the numerous animals of note bred in the Neilston and adjacent parishes by the Knox brothers. It was by Mr Knox of Forside that the dams of "Old Times" (579), "Prince of Wales" (673), and "St Lawrence" (3220) were bred; while the tenant of Malletsheugh, Newton Mearns, a relative of the family, bred the reputed stallion "Dunmore Prince Charlie" (634). Newton Mearns was for many years the home of Mr Pollock's "Young Lord Lyon" (994), one of the finest stallions ever bred in Scotland, and the same stud has produced several notable prize-winning mares and horses. In the parish of Eaglesham horse-breeding is also engaged in to a considerable extent. One of the leading breeders here is Mr Allan Inches, who is the breeder of several very good horses. Of these "Prince Alfred" (619) forms a capital illustration. He gained the first prize at Glasgow when three years old, and won the Paisley district premium, which, as we have observed in our history of the Renfrewshire Agricultural Society, is now defunct. The premium given in the lower ward is therefore the only one now awarded in the county.

In the district of the county lying around the burgh of Renfrew horse-breeding absorbs a great deal of attention, while the town itself has become intimately connected with the trade. From Mr Ferguson's stables, which are within the burgh, a large number of horses have been exported to America and Australia during the last six years. Mr Macdonald, Porter-field, has earned considerable distinction in owning and exhibiting Clydesdale stock, as have also Mr Keter, Bogside; Mr Lang, Garneyland; and Mr Taylor, Park Mains. The last-named gentleman has exported to America some very valuable animals, and is still in possession of a few excellent mares and fillies.

One of his latest transactions was the sale of the beautiful three-year-old stallion "Lord Beresford," which stood in the short leet of seven at the Glasgow Stallion Show last spring. The price obtained for him was 400 guineas, from an American buyer, which, with one or two exceptions, is the highest figure realised for any single Clydesdale animal yet exported.

Such is a brief and necessarily very general sketch of a great and growing industry. Fully to exhaust the interesting subject would occupy more time and space than are now available. We have said enough to show that Renfrewshire is entitled to a leading position in breeding Clydesdale horses. And in Scotland, where so many counties vie with each other for pre-eminence and honour, this is no mean distinction. That a small western shire should hold its own in a race with its larger and more richly agricultural neighbours, is a fact of which its inhabitants may well be proud. The extension of the breed into other parts of the county, as well as into other counties, has in no way weakened the trade of the native valley of the breed, which is as largely carried on as ever, and Renfrewshire annually exports a larger number of horses in proportion to its size, perhaps, than any other county in Scotland.

The general opinion among the landowners and farmers is that the ordinary farm work horses of the county have improved considerably during the past twenty-five years. While that is so, however, it should be remembered that the maximum measure of success has not been attained in every district. The extension of permanent pasture, and the development of dairy farming, has impeded improvement in some parts. The sires used also, in some cases, have been productive of unsatisfactory results, which is a subject of complaint with a few farmers. This they attribute to over-feeding, and arrive at the conclusion that the grievance might be remedied, and a healthier and hardier race of stock raised, if the stallions used were more moderately fed. We think, however, there is not much room for complaint on this score; and that the horse-breeding industry of the county, as a rule, is carried on with commendable discretion, enterprise, and skill. The number of horses in the county at various times since 1870 was as follows :~ez_mdash~

1870.

1875.

1881.

1885.

Used solely for Agricultural purposes,

Unbroken and Breeding Stock,

2133

578

2190

904

2300

1034

2336

960

Total

2711

3094

3334

3296

The total number in 1857 was 3635, of which 2352 were kept solely for agricultural purposes, and 779 were under three years' old, but intended for agricultural work.

Sheep Farming.

The progress of the past twenty-five years in sheep farming has been enormous. We are informed by some of the oldest agriculturists in the county that this industry remained utterly neglected until within the past quarter of a century. Since then, however, greater care and earnestness to improve the stock have, in a large measure, had the desired effect. But it is questionable if the average farmer has even yet learnt to appreciate the finer points in the breeding of sheep. Most of them are contented with size and substance in sheep, and with exception of some half a dozen breeders, all seem to underestimate the value of high-class breeding. If this system were more generally adopted, we feel assured that the sheep stocks of Renfrewshire could be raised to a foremost position. As it is, they compare favourably with the ordinary commercial stock of other counties ; but this is not the standard by which farmers can estimate their own success. A western sheep farmer, whose advice we consulted on this matter, is right when he says:~ez_mdash~ "Until quite recently but little attention has been paid to sheep breeding in Renfrewshire (with one or two exceptions). Formerly prices were remunerative for any kind of mutton, but now that they have fallen so far, it is only by the breeding of really good stock that profit can be made."

The principal sheep farms lie at either end of the county, east and west. They carry flocks varying in size from 400 sheep up to 2,000. The average flock may be estimated at 500. They consist almost wholly of breeding sheep, and the improvement effected during the past twenty-five years is mainly due to the judicious selection of tups. The rams used are generally short, thick, well-ribbed sheep of the west of Scotland type. East of Scotland tups are found to be too lengthy in carcase, and thin in wool, to withstand the severe climate of the higher districts of Renfrewshire. Farmers breed a good many tups themselves, and they are thus able to some extent to " mould I the type best suited for the district. The rams are put to the ewe stock about the 24th of November, and each tup is allowed about 50 ewes. They are withdrawn about the first of the year, and fed largely on artificial food, such as Indian corn, ground pease, and oil cake. The lambing season is one of great anxiety both to owners and shepherds. It begins about the middle of April, and usually lasts about three weeks. Lambs are castrated about the 15th of May, when they are marked, as a rule, for the first time. They are weaned in the second or third week of August, when the crop is usually in the proportion of 35 lambs to every 40 ewes.

Eild sheep are clipped in the end of June, and the milk ewes about the middle of July. The average yield of wool is about 4 lbs. Dipping operations take place at various times. Most of the stocks are dipped only once a year~ez_mdash~in October or November; but, in one or two cases, sheep are twice washed. Mr Moffat, Gateside, Dumfriesshire, who farms extensively in the western district of Renfrewshire, dips his sheep in August and again in January. The dip he uses is of his own composition, and costs from 2s. to 2s. 6d per 100 sheep. Farmers, who dip but once a year, use a composition comprising boiled arsenic, grease, black soap, and soda; and this mixture is said to answer well. The sheep are mostly wintered at home, but a portion ~ez_mdash~chiefly hoggs~ez_mdash~is always transferred to the lower parts of the county, or into the neighbouring counties of Ayr and Lanark. The cost of wintering varies somewhat according to the quality of the pasture, but for some time past it has ranged from 6s. to 7s. per head. In some cases the arrangement regarding the wintering is, that only those sheep alive at the first of April are paid for, and that the stock are kept away from young rye-grass after the first of March. The rate of mortality is not so high as in several other counties, notably those of Selkirk and Roxburgh; but "trembling" and braxy are more or less prevalent every year. Only a small percentage of the animals attacked by these diseases survive them. Several farmers, however, have occasionally succeeded in suppressing "trembling." One of the most successful experimenters recommends a very simple mode of treatment, thus: "Keep the animal quiet, and administer to it a mixture of treacle and saltpetre." The wether lambs are mostly sold to butchers in Greenock, Paisley, and Glasgow, but those which are not fat enough for killing are largely bought by Irish dealers for exportation to Ireland. The cast ewes and ''seconds" and "shott" ewe lambs are disposed of at the Lanark auction mart, while a good many two-year-old wethers are annually consigned to the Lanark market on the first of October. Some useful lots of wethers and cast ewes are also sold by Mr Wilson at the Paisley sales, where a good demand is sometimes experienced.

While most of the sheep farmers, as we have hinted, give preference in breeding to size and substance, and are apt to overlook the finer characteristics of the breed, they have amongst them a few fanciers of the ideal blackface. Prominent amongst these is Mr Stewart, Carrot, Eaglesham, who, it may be mentioned, has recently obtained no small recognition of the success of his endeavours to improve his stock. At the county show at Paisley, last summer, he headed both the aged ram and shearling classes, which were well filled and exceptionally meritorious. His tups are very well bred, and would do credit to almost any of the first-class flocks of the country. Other well-known breeders are Mr Fleming, Threepland, Eaglesham; Mr Scott, Hillside, Kilmalcolm; and Mr Gibb, Gladstone, Bishop-ston. Sheep farming is extensively practised in the Eaglesham district, but in the Neilston, Paisley, and Johnstone districts, and down through the parish of Houston, comparatively few sheep are kept as regular stock. Within easy reach of Paisley a few parks are taken by butchers and dealers for grazing hoggs, &c, while several arable farmers winter a large number of the same class of sheep drawn principally from the western part of Argyllshire. These are usually sent to their winter quarters about the first week of October, and returned to their native hills about the first of April. In some cases the whole farm is let at a fixed rent, and the sheep-owner puts on any number he may choose ; but, in the majority of cases, a definite number of sheep is bargained for, and this is by far the most satisfactory plan. In the south-western district, or lower ward, many good flocks are kept.

Along the lower part of the Clyde few sheep are bred or grazed; in the district stretching from Greenock up to Johnstone they are more numerous. Several farmers in the flat district, on the brink of the Clyde, prefer buying sheep~ez_mdash~cast ewes and hoggs~ez_mdash~in the autumn, and fattening them in the parks, and it is a common belief that the reduced prices of dairy produce will tend to encourage this practice as well as sheep farming generally. Already, indeed, we know of farmers who have curtailed their dairy herds to make way for sheep.

Very few sheep other than blackfaced are bred in the county. Border Leicesters, however, have found their way into the lower ward, and, if we mistake not, a few Cheviots, are to be met with in the higher districts. A select stock of the former class has been established at Bridge of Weir by Mr M'Phedran. It is skilfully managed, and comprises a number of very well-bred specimens of the favourite Border breed. Successful breeders of Border Leicesters are John Pollock, Springside, Lochwinnoch; Mr Houston, of Johnstone Castle; and Mr Thompson.

In view of the increasing interest in sheep farming it is very important that every obstacle in the way of its development should as far as possible be removed. Hitherto pastures have not been so well managed as could be desired, and unquestionable benefit would flow to all concerned if more burning was done. The hilly districts of the county are largely over-run with rank rough heather, which is not only useless as food for stock, but literally destructive. It is generally contended that the burning of heather is hurtful to the game interests, but a great proportion of heather in Renfrewshire is so strong and coarse that neither sheep nor birds enter into it. When the sheep stray into it in spring, when their wool is loose, they are partially relieved of their coats, which, cheap though wool for some time has been, means loss to the farmer. If hill pasture were more carefully treated~ez_mdash~i.e., the heather burned at the proper time~ez_mdash~ it would become immensely more valuable, and go far in improving the quality of the sheep. Another influence might, we think, be more exclusively brought to bear on the ovine stock of the county~ez_mdash~better attention at the hands of the owner. On a great many of the farms no qualified shepherd is employed; the sheep share the attention of workmen in common with ordinary agricultural pursuits.

The following statement shows the number of sheep in the county at various times since 1857:~ez_mdash~

Sheep.

1857.

1870.

1875.

1881.

1885.

One year old and upwards, . Under one year

14,472 8,005

21,785 12,439

23,431 13,429

20,179 11,058

20,639 11,793

Total,

22,477

34,224

36,860

31,237

32,432

Labour.

This county enjoys better command of labour than most others, but its numerous factories, when in full work, give employment to many people who were formerly engaged in agriculture. The result of this has been observable in the rates of wages. Notwithstanding the introduction and extended use of farm machinery these have increased from 30 to 50 per cent. during the past quarter of a century. Writing to us on the subject of farm wages an agriculturist says:~ez_mdash~ "Dairymaids formerly receiving 4, 10s. or 5 per half-year, now get double that sum; single ploughmen of the first class, before receiving 11 per half-year, now get from 14 to 16; and married ploughmen's wages have advanced from 14s. to 1, or 22s. per week, a free house being provided in each case. Outdoor female workers are now paid at the rate of 1s. 9d. per day, instead of 1s. as formerly. Tradesmen's accounts are much heavier than they were twenty-five years ago."

The male servants of the county may be divided into three classes~ez_mdash~(1) married ploughmen, (2) single ploughmen, and (3) lads. The first class a few years ago obtained from 19s. to 23s. per week, along with~ez_mdash~in many cases~ez_mdash~a free house. During the past year or two, however, wages have diminished, and they now range from 19s. to 21s. per week. Single ploughmen are hired at from 10 to 16 per half-year, in addition to board. They are mostly employed on the smaller farms, and board in the farm kitchen. The third class consists of boys whose employment is driving milk carts and doing general farm work. The current wages for these varies from 4 to 7. Many of the farmers' sons devote their time to farm work, and some of them have obtained local distinction at the annual ploughing competitions of the Renfrewshire Agricultural Society. Bowers employ their own servants.

There are also three distinct classes of female servants connected with the agriculture of the county. Young girls are engaged on the smaller dairy farms, at from 6 to 9, to assist in the lighter dairy work; to work out or indoors as circumstances demand. The second class is made up of assistant dairymaids for purely indoor work. Their wages run from 8 to 10 per half-year. Housekeepers and dairy superintendents form the third class, and the wages of these range from 10 to 12, 10s.

The conditions of hire in the case of shepherds differ somewhat from those of ordinary farm servants. Shepherds earn from 50 to 60 per annum, in addition to free house and grass for a cow. Unmarried servants are usually employed by the half-year, but yearly engagements are more common in the case of married men. On one or two estates servants' cottages are fairly abundant, notably on the Blantyre property; but generally there is a scarcity of accommodation for married labourers.

Agricultural Labourers' Allotments.

It may be of interest to the advocates of the "three acres and a cow" theory to know something of how agricultural labourers are situated in the west of Scotland. Renfrewshire, according to the census returns of 1881, contains 1851 male farm servants, of whom only 3 have ground for potatoes, and 4 a general run for a cow. Some 106 hold land under 1/8th of an acre in extent; 5 hold from 1/8th to 1/4th of an acre; 1 occupies over one acre of arable land; while 2 hold a similar extent of pasture land. The total number of allotments or field gardens detached from cottages is 114, and these are all held on yearly tenancies. Sixteen railway labourers hold allotments ranging in size from 1/6th to 1/4th of an acre detached from cottages; while three hold a like quantity of land attached to cottages. Nine, strictly agricultural employees, occupy garden allotments attached to cottages from year to year. Of these six pay an average rental, including the cottage, of 5; while three sit rent free.

Swine~ez_mdash~Poultry.

Swine.~ez_mdash~A good many pigs are kept. They are mostly of the ordinary Scotch cross breeds, reared for the consumption of waste dairy products. A few specimens of the Berkshire and Yorkshire breeds, however, are to be met with in the upper districts. The total numbers of swine enumerated in the county, in various years, were as follows:~ez_mdash~In 1857, 1761; 1870, 2571; 1875, 1959; 1881, 1310; and in 1885, 1815. It will thus be observed that there are fewer pigs in the county now than in 1875. This, we think, is matter for regret. Pig-rearing would, we feel assured, repay closer attention than it at present obtains from farmers ; and though the number of swine is considerably less now than in 1875, we are pleased to see it once more on the ascendency.

Poultry.~ez_mdash~Poultry-farming, like pig-rearing, is rather neglected. Most farm-yards carry poultry to the number of from 30 to 100; but in view of the enormous quantities of eggs, &c, imported from continental countries, together with the populous character of the county, there seems to be ample room for profitably developing this useful, if minor, adjunct of the farm. The number of poultry in the county at present is computed thus:~ez_mdash~ Turkeys, 1947; geese, 883; ducks, 12,509 ; fowls, 81,928; total, 97,267.

The Renfrewshire Agricultural Society.

The commencement of this, one of the most important and successful county societies in Scotland, was due in a large measure to the farmers of the parishes of Erskine and Inch-innan. In 1802 a few gentlemen formed themselves into an association, called "The Inchinnan and Erskine Farmers' Society," which had for its primary object competitions in ploughing. The first ploughing match took place the same year (1802). In 1804 the Society was joined by Renfrew parish, and in that year the association extended its sphere of improvement, and held a cattle show at Inchinnan. Ploughing matches and cattle shows were held annually to 1819, when it was decided to extend the Society in order to comprehend a wider area. The first meeting was held in Paisley on the 17th June 1819, when it was resolved to form the Society under the name of "The Renfrewshire Agricultural Society," having for its object the promotion of agricultural science and improvements. At the outset it embraced only eleven parishes, but it gradually widened its boundaries till it comprehended the entire county.

A general meeting of the Society was held in Paisley on 9th December 1819, when rules and regulations were drawn up. Membership was restricted to those residents possessing property in either of the above parishes. Life membership was fixed at 1, 11s. 6d. Under the rules, prizes were to be given and competed for annually by the members for~ez_mdash~

1. Best bull above three years old.
2. Best bull under three years.
3. Best milch cow.
4. Best two year old quey.
5. Best stallion. And for the best exhibitions of ploughing, draining, manuring, and other displays of agricultural skill.

The bulls and stallions gaining the prizes were to be kept by the owners for the use of the neighbourhood during the serving season, but members were always to have a preference, and the prices to be charged were to be fixed by the Society. There were bye-laws to the effect that members who were elected directors, and did not accept office, were to be fined 5s.; and those accepting but failing to attend meetings, were to be fined 1s. for each absence. The first ploughing match was held in 1820 on Barlush Farm, Johnstone, and on each successive year, down to the present time, the matches have taken place. The first cattle show was held at Renfrew on 9th June 1820, but only two classes appeared~ez_mdash~that of aged bulls and milch cows. The first prizes in these classes were gained by Mr John Bowie, Dykebar Farm, Paisley, the father of the present tenant, and Archibald Spiers, Esq. of Elderslie. On 27th July 1820, the Society had on exhibition a double mould-boarded plough, with hoes attached of malleable iron, and a drill harrow, having also hoes attached. These implements were made by John Wilken, wright, Uddingston, and after the directors had seen the same at work in a field near Paisley, they expressed their satisfaction with them, and recommended their adoption by the members of the Society and persons engaged in drill husbandry.

The ploughing match took place next year at Nitshill, and it is noteworthy that 64 ploughs competed. The first prize was gained by James Gardner, Arkleston~ez_mdash~a noted ploughman in the annals of the Society~ez_mdash~with a wooden plough; while the second prize fell to William Ronald, Laigh Parks, with an iron plough. There were other eight prizes awarded, of which five fell to wooden and three to iron ploughs. Next year the cattle show was held in Paisley, and the classes previously noted were all represented with exception of that for two-year old heifers. In the following year, however, every class was in itself a centre of keen competition. For many years the Society always selected in the cattle department five judges to act together in awarding the prizes, instead of the more modern system of three or one. On 30th December 1822, Sir John Maxwell, M.P., convened a meeting of the Society for the purpose of considering the propriety of suggesting a meeting of the noblemen and gentlemen of the county to consider the proper remedy for the then existing agricultural distress. The resolutions moved by Sir John, and adopted at that meeting, are of importance, bearing on the distress of the present time. They were to the effect "that the produce of land had fallen in price nearly one-half since 1817; that the rents of land and price of agricultural labour had not fallen in proportion with the produce of the farm; that the portion of expense of agriculture which originated in taxation had hitherto undergone scarcely any reduction; that the communications with market towns by means of canals, roads, railways, and bridges continued to be burdened with heavy toll dues and pontage to meet the interest of debts contracted at their formation."

A committee was appointed to prepare an application to the farmers of the county on the subject, and having done so a meeting of the farmers was soon afterwards held at Renfrew, at which the spirit and substance of these resolutions were fully considered and discussed.

It is worthy of note that in 1824, by the liberality of Mr Ludovic Houstoun of Johnstone, who gave three separate prizes of 5, 5s. each, the cattle show was extended so as to take in classes for the best two-year old lean stot, and the best two-year old quey in calf. The class for stots did not prove successful, and was after a year or two abandoned.

On 5th April 1827 a general meeting of the Society was held, for the purpose of considering the toll dues leviable on manures, and a petition was drawn up to the Road Trustees, stating how heavily this tax pressed upon the farming interest, and praying for redress. At the annual general meeting of members held on 29th May 1828, a proposal was made to include the whole county within the scope of the Society, and a committee having been appointed to revise the rules, a new code of regulations was prepared and adopted at the general meeting on 29th May 1829, embracing the whole county within the sphere of its operations. In other respects the rules were similar to the original ones, with this exception, that the cattle competitions were much extended, and in the following year a premium of 15 was awarded for the best stallion, which was won by Thomas Pollock Windhill, Eaglesham. The constitution of the Society was somewhat altered at a general meeting held on 18th February 1831, when sons of members were to be allowed to become members on payment of half of their fathers' entry money.

On 6th October 1831 the Society was again called together for the purpose of considering the laws for the equalisation of weights and measures, and the expediency of establishing within the district a uniform practice of selling potatoes and other produce usually sold according to heaped measure, by weight alone. It was resolved to petition the Legislature, and seek the assistance of other societies in also petitioning the Government to make selling by weight alone imperative on all dealers; and the efforts of the Society in this direction seem to have been fairly successful.

On 10th January 1832 a general meeting of the Society on the subject of the Reform Bill was held at Nitshill~ez_mdash~Sir John Maxwell, Bart., in the chair~ez_mdash~when it was resolved to petition Parliament in favour of the Reform Bill; and the bill having passed the House of Commons the Society, on 2nd April 1832, petitioned the House of Lords in its favour. On 14th March 1833 a committee, who had at a previous meeting been appointed to revise the rules of the Society, reported their proposed rules to a general meeting, and these were adopted. These rules were more general in character than the present regulations, and gave the directors power to offer prizes for all classes of live stock as they might consider proper; and sons and bona fide servants of members were to be allowed to compete at the ploughing matches. An extensive prize-list was that year offered for cattle, while premiums for the best brood sows were in the list, but none put in an appearance. In 1834 sweepstake competitions for lots of cows were introduced, and were continued until quite recently. Prizes were again offered for the best brood sow and best boar, but none appeared. A general meeting of the Society on 15th January 1835 was held for the purpose of taking steps to secure the uniformity of measures for the sale of milk throughout the county, and a committee was appointed to consider the matter. The exertions of the committee had ultimately a successful result.

In 1835 the Society extended its sphere of operations, and offered prizes for the best field of potatoes in the county of not. less than 4 imperial acres, and for the best field of turnips of not less than 2 acres. At the cattle show prizes were offered for the best two-year old draught colt and two-year old filly respectively; and in the following year prizes were given for the best draught mare of the Clydesdale breed.

On 17th March 1836 a special meeting was called to consider the propriety of making application for a grant of the Highland Society's district premiums, and the application having been made, they were granted in 1839, and have been, through the liberality of the Directors, extended occasionally to the Society down to the present date~ez_mdash~having been given in succession for seeds, swine, and cattle. Prizes in 1836 were offered for the best 5 quarters of seed wheat; and at the competition on 29th September 1836 there were eleven samples placed before the judges.

In 1837 prizes were added for whitefaced sheep, and again for swine, and there was a fair competition. The stallion prizes, which had been given up for several years, were again resumed, and in 1837 the premium of 15 was won by Samuel Clark of Manswraes, who was also successful in 1838. On 13th December 1838 the Society subscribed 10, 10s. to the Highland and Agricultural Society, in aid of the funds being raised for the erection of a museum in connection with the National Society. In 1839 the directors offered prizes for (1) the best grubber, and (2) the best pair of barn fanners. But the judges, who tested these implements at Hawkhead Mains on 31st May 1839, considered the grubbers competing not of such excellence as to merit prizes. The trial of fanners resulted in the first prize being awarded to Mr Smith, the judges expressing a favourable opinion of Mr Allison's invention and improvement on the feeding board of the machine exhibited by him.

In 1840 the ploughing match competitions were divided into those above twenty and those under that age. The Highland Society's medal was given to the senior ploughmen, and has been so allocated every year since then. At the autumn competitions in 1840 prizes were awarded for the farm exhibiting the best state of cultivation in point of dryness, and awarded to John Paterson, Easter Walkinshaw, and John Young, West Fulwood, respectively. The prizes for the best farms were continued for many years, and the principal prize-takers during the course of the competitions were John Colquhoun, Corker-hill, Pollokshaws (who was several times first), and John Young, Wester Fulwood. In response to a request from the Highland and Agricultural Society in 1841, the Renfrewshire Agricultural Society suggested the advisability of offering premiums for the best description of subsoil and draining ploughs, and for artificial and portable manures. In 1841 the Society resolved to select a stallion to travel the district at a premium of 25. It was again gained by Mr Samuel Clark. In their report on 20th September 1841, on the competitions for the best managed farm and for growing wheat, potatoes, and beans, the judges felt called upon "to express in an especial manner the high satisfaction which they experienced in the whole farms and crops submitted to them. All of these were in the highest degree creditable to the competitors, and such as to reflect great honour upon the advanced state of the agriculture of the district."

In regard to the ploughing match of 1842, the judges expressed their unqualified approbation of the whole work performed by the competitors. In the judges' report on the farm competitions of 1843, they referred to the disastrous character of the season, which had resulted in the partial failure of various lots of wheat and potatoes; and while expressing themselves highly pleased with the general management of the farms, they directed increased attention to the cleaning of green crop lands. On 4th January 1844 the directors resolved to procure the services of Professor Johnson, Edinburgh, to give lectures on chemical manures, and he delivered his lectures in Paisley in February 1844.

The cattle show of 1847 was remarkable for the exceptional success which attended the exhibits of Ayrshire cattle by James Robertson, Hall of Caldwell, Neilston~ez_mdash~a success which followed Mr Robertson's herd as long as it existed. This (1847) year the first premium for flax was won by Colonel Harvey of Castle-semple; while the prize for the best farm went to Mr Gilmour, Mid Henderston, Paisley. The judges, in their report of crops, stated that the bean crop excelled anything they had ever seen, while they pronounced the carrot crops to be very superior. The Highland Society's premiums were this year awarded for ryegrass seed and seed wheat. At the annual general meeting of 25th May 1848 it was proposed that the Society resolve itself into an association for the insurance of the cattle of members and of the district generally. The matter was more fully considered at a special meeting held on 12th October 1848, and after several other meetings the Cattle Insurance Association of Renfrewshire was formed; and still continues to flourish.

The judges, in their report of the dairy produce, dated 12th October 1848, stated that thirty-four lots of fresh butter were exhibited, and that they never saw a finer display. The judges this (1848) year, in their report of potatoes, stated that the tubers were of very excellent quality and appearance. On 30th August 1849 Lord Blantyre, as convener of the County Committee of the Highland Society, wrote to the directors asking them to suspend their annual show for next year, and to co-operate with the Highland Society in their Show at Glasgow; but the directors declined to do so. In preference to abandoning their show, they resolved to subscribe 20 to the great national show at Glasgow in 1850. A strong desire was expressed by the agriculturists in the Greenock district to have the county show held there in 1850, and every third year thereafter, but the directors could not see their way to entertain the suggestion.

In 1850 the late Thomas Coats of Ferguslie offered premiums to be awarded to the best ventilated dairies within the county, and Messrs Donaldson, V.S., and Mr Glen, Hawkhead, awarded the prizes. These premiums were continued by Mr Coats for several years, and proved very interesting and useful. The judges, in their report of 1850, stated that there were great improvements in the construction of the new byres visited by them, but they were of opinion that great improvements could still be made in ventilating milkhouses. As a stimulus to dairymaids, prizes were this year (1850) given to the dairymaids who made the best lots of butter. These prizes were continued for several years.

In 1851 the Society added poultry to their list of competitions. On 11th March 1852 it was resolved that the advertisement of the cattle show should bear a prohibition against the dressing of bulls, by reducing the excess of throat skin. This cruel custom had evidently been pretty freely practised in the county at that time. In 1851 and 1852 the competition in crops was abandoned. At the annual general meeting of 1852 it was agreed to have a Society's medal awarded to any animal gaining the first prize in the same class two years in succession; and also to ploughmen and farmers who won two consecutive firsts.

That medal has been continued on the same conditions down to 1882, when a new die was cast. As Mr Cochran Patrick indicates in his History of the Medals of Scotland, the die was unique, inasmuch as it contained engravings of two noted animals of the time, viz., Mr Drew's Clydesdale mare "Sheba," and Mr Bartlemore's Ayrshire bull "Baron o' Buchlyvie."

In 1852, in addition to the October premiums for butter, seeds, &c, premiums were offered for the most approved model of a corn stack, and the first prize was won by Mr Whyte, Fulwood, two years in succession.

The premium for stallions, which had long been suspended, was resumed in 1856, when 20 was offered for a horse to travel the district, with 12s. 6d. for service, and 12s. 6d. additional when the mare proved in foal.

On 4th June 1857, a meeting was held for the purpose of establishing a corn market in Paisley. It was resolved to make it a sample, and not a stock market, and the arrangements thereanent were accordingly carried out.

In 1857 the premiums for stack models and butter were discontinued; and the Society directed their attention for the first time to improvement of agricultural labourers' dwellings.

In 1859 it was resolved by the Society to have two entire Clydesdale horses to travel the county, with premiums of 35 and 25 respectively, and the competitions having taken place on 24th February 1859, the prizes were awarded to Mr King's "Prince of Wales" and Mr Salmon's "Champion." These prizes Were continued for several years, but latterly, when the Glasgow prize horse district was widened to the extent of embracing a large portion of the county, the local premiums were withdrawn.

At the annual general meeting of 1861, it was unanimously agreed to give up the competitions of beans, wheat, cabbages, oats, &c, which had been annually held in the autumn of past years, and to hold the show of dairy produce along with the summer show of cattle, and this course has been followed ever since. At a meeting held on 25th January 1862, the Society took up the question of the cattle plague, and resolved to press measures on the Government in connection with the same. The Society ceased to give prizes for poultry in 1869.

In that year a committee was formed for the purpose of dealing with the question of chemical manures, of testing the character of the same, and of giving the result of their investigation to the Society. The Society frequently had the question before them, with the result that in 1870 Mr Robert R. Pollock was appointed chemical analyst to the Society. The appointment, however, was short lived, the office having been abolished in 1876.

In 1869 the Society instituted a practical investigation into the working of agricultural implements, and conducted trials on the lands of Nether Southbar, occupied by Mr John Gibb.

In February 1871, Sir M. R. Shaw Stewart, Bart., called a meeting of the Society to consider the state of the French peasant farmers, and a large committee was formed to secure contributions with a view to aiding the distressed agriculturists beyond the Channel.

On 12th December 1872, Colonel Campbell called a meeting of the Society for the purpose of establishing a stock book and herd book; but after several meetings had been held for the purpose, it seems to have dropped.

In 1877 new life was infused into the Society, with the most gratifying results. The directors, in consideration of the very large number of light-legged horses in the county, arranged twelve open classes for these in connection with their annual show, and they are still continued with great success. In the same year also prizes were offered for dogs, and these competitions have also been continued. For the show of 1878 the directors arranged Derby sweepstake competitions for one-year old colts, one-year old fillies, and three-year old heifers. The entries for these competitions close in the month of September prior to the show, and this fact attaches a peculiar interest to these sections of the annual summer exhibition.

On 15th January 1880, the Society was convened in connection with the Royal Commission on Agriculture, and a committee of the best and most experienced men in the county was appointed to give written and oral evidence to the Commission. That committee consisted of (1) proprietors, (2) land agents, (3) dairy farmers, (4) grazier farmers, (5) agricultural farmers.

On 18th November 1880, a committee, who had been previously appointed to revise the constitution of the Society, brought up and reported upon a list of new rules and regulations to the general meeting of members held that day. These rules were adopted, and they entirely altered the constitution of the directorate of the Society. The primary objects of the Society were declared to be the advancement of the agricultural capabilities of the county, the encouragement of the breeding of horses, cattle, and sheep, the promotion of agricultural science and art, as well as other kindred arts. The directorate was to consist of thirty members, five land agents, five commercial men, and twenty farmers, allocated from the different parishes ; and many other material and beneficial alterations were adopted. These included the combining of the offices of secretary and treasurer.

On 10th November 1881, the Society had before them the Scottish Farmers' Alliance Bill, on which a long discussion took place, but ultimately the subject was allowed to drop. At this meeting they also discussed the question of fixtures in agricultural holdings, and considered the advisability of having some alterations on the law regarding the same. These matters at that time became exceedingly important, because of the many questions which had recently been raised in the County Court between landlord and tenant regarding what were truly fixtures on the farms. The subject was very ably handled by the Society, and it is owing to their enterprise, probably more than any other, that provisions were made thereanent in the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1883.

The directors, after the passing of this Act, took into consideration the provisions of the measure, and recognising the great importance of having a common understanding in the county, alike between landlord and tenant, regarding the claims under that Act, they, after several meetings of the landlords and tenants of the county, adopted the following report and scale of compensation:~ez_mdash~

Compensation under Schedule I.

The Act makes it compulsory on the part of the tenant to obtain the landlord's consent to improvements under this schedule, and leaves the question of compensation open to agreement between parties. The committee were of opinion that as regards (1) laying down of permanent pasture, (2) making permanent fences, (3) reclamation of waste land, the Act should be amended so as to include these under Schedule II.

Compensation under Schedule II.

Drainage being the first principle of good husbandry, tenants should be encouraged to expend money on this improvement. The committee were of opinion that fifteen years for level lying land, and twenty years for side lying land, with rates of exhaustion l-15th and l-20th in each year respectively, should be adopted as the basis.

Compensation under Schedule III.

The following scale was adopted for medium land in a fair state of cultivation. Lime, seven years arable and ten years pasture, with rates of exhaustion 1-7th and 1-10th in each year respectively, and claim to include carriage:~ez_mdash~

These statistics form a guide for outgoing tenants in making their claim of compensation ; and when made on the basis adopted, the landlord knows to accept of the same. Thus, through the influence of the Society, much arbitration and litigation has been averted.

It has long been a more or less customary practice among the cattle breeders and exhibitors of the county to "trim" their stock to the point of injury, and the Society took steps for its suppression in 1885. They arrived at the conclusion that "doctoring," as it is called, was a cruel and altogether unnecessary practice, and made provisions for preventing it. As a result of repeated deliberations, they recently opened classes, in their annual show, for two-year old heifers in calf and in milk ~ez_mdash~an arrangement which is much appreciated by breeders.

In recent years the position and influence of the Society has been much improved. The premiums offered have been augmented and extended. The roll of members has been doubled during the last eight years; while the entries for the various competitions in a like period have increased gradually from 300 to 800. The following noblemen and gentlemen have acted as office-bearers of the Society since its inception in 1819 :~ez_mdash~

Presidents.

1819 to 1853. Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, Bart.
1853 ~ez_bdquo~ 1855. The Right Honourable the Earl of Glasgow.
1855 ~ez_bdquo~ 1856. Wm. Muir of Caldwell, M. P.
1856 ~ez_bdquo~ 1858. John Hall Maxwell of Dargarvel, C.B.
1858 ~ez_bdquo~ 1863. The Right Honourable the Earl of Glasgow.
1863 ~ez_bdquo~ 1865. Colonel Muir of Caldwell.
1865 ~ez_bdquo~ 1866. John Hall Maxwell, C.B.
1866 ~ez_bdquo~ 1867. Thomas Speir of Blackstoun.
1868. Captain A. A. Speirs, M.P.
1869. Sir M. R. Shaw Stewart of Greenock and Blackhall, Bart.
1870 ~ez_bdquo~ 1872. Lieut.-Col. A. C. Campbell, Bart., of Blytheswood.
1872 ~ez_bdquo~ 1876. The Bight Hon. the Earl of Glasgow.
1876 ~ez_bdquo~ 1878. Sir William Stirling Maxwell of Pollock, Bart., M.P.
1878. P. Comyn Macgregor of Brediland.
1879. Henry Macdowall, younger, of Garthland.
1880 & 1881. Sir A. C. Campbell, Bart.
1883. Sir M. R. Shaw Stewart, Bart.
1884 & 1885. Alexr. Crum of Thornliebank, M.P. for Renfrewshire.
1886. Thomas Glen Coats of Ferguslie Park, Paisley.

Secretaries.

1819 to 1839. A. H. Simpson, Town Clerk, Paisley.
1839 ~ez_bdquo~ 1858. William Martin, do. do.
1858 ~ez_bdquo~ 1862. Peter Henderson, Sheriff Clerk of Renfrewshire.
1862 ~ez_bdquo~ 1877. Robert Loudon Henderson, Writer, Paisley.
1877 ~ez_bdquo~ 1886. William Bartlemore, Writer, Paisley.

Treasurers.

1819 to 1828. William Peock of Meigleriggs, Paisley.
1828 ~ez_bdquo~ 1864. William Glen of Hawkhead Mains, Paisley.
1864 ~ez_bdquo~ 1875. Matthew Wilson, Blackstoun, Paisley.
1875 ~ez_bdquo~ 1880. Robert Wilson, Forehouse, Kilbarchan.
1880 ~ez_bdquo~ 1886. William Bartlemore, Writer, Paisley.

We have devoted more space to the history of the Renfrewshire Agricultural Society than we originally intended. So active and useful, however, has been its career, and so great its assistance to the agriculture of the county, that it deserves more than a mere passing notice. We know of no Society that has looked after the interests of agriculture more faithfully, or more thoroughly fulfilled its objects. It has passed scathlessly through many trying years, and still goes on to flourish~ez_mdash~ increasing strength with age. At the present time, despite the agricultural depression, it is more vigorous perhaps than it has ever been.

Industries~ez_mdash~not Agricultural.

The agricultural importance of the county, though considerable, is nothing to the magnitude and value of its industrial resources. Every town and hamlet is possessed of some notable feature, and several of their names have become household words of no small celebrity. Who, for example, has not heard of the celebrated Glenfield starch, the far-famed Paisley shawls, the well known anchor thread, the unparalleled shipbuilding industry of the Clyde, or Greenock refined sugar? These industries in themselves have earned for the district a reputation and distinction that places it above almost all others. But besides these, Renfrewshire is noted for innumerable industrial institutions of considerable moment. Some of them are centuries old, and still continue to flourish. They afford employment to a large and ever increasing population, and supply the world with products of unquestionable superiority. We need not, however, dwell further on generalities; let us describe more minutely the interior of what may not inaptly be termed the "workshop" of the west.

Greenock and Port-Glasgow.

These towns, though originally some two miles apart, are now all but connected. The intervening space is gradually disappearing, and they are becoming more and more intimately connected commercially. Greenock is the largest town in the county, ranking as it does fifth among the eight principal towns in Scotland; while Port-Glasgow has developed to the possession of some 13,294 inhabitants. Both have grown very rapidly. Originally Greenock was but a small fishing village. Its vicinity to the sea and its shipping facilities have brought it into prominence, and its industrial importance has attracted people from all parts of the country. Both towns are celebrated for shipbuilding, as well as being the seats of other industries. Shipbuilding and sugar-refining constitute the principal occupations ; but there are also fifteen engineering works and iron foundries. Rope and sail-making, wool spinning, tanning, timber dealing, and other pursuits of minor importance are also extensively carried on.

Each of them contain shipbuilding establishments to the number of eight, and several of these have engineering works attached to them. The oldest and largest firms are those of Messrs Caird & Co. and Messrs. Scott & Co. of Greenock. A foremost place in the great industry was for many years creditably held by the firm of Steele & Co., but it recently ceased working. Caird & Co.'s yard was established about 1840, and its history has been marked with unchecked progress. Down to the end of 1883 they had launched and finished some 240 vessels, and made over 300 pairs of engines. During the last twenty years they have turned out no fewer than 28 vessels of an average burden of 3000 tons each for the Hamburg American Steam Packet Company, also 21 vessels of an aggregate of 58500 tons for the North German Lloyd. Not a few of the magnificent steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental fleet were made by them, and for the Inman Line Messrs. Caird & Co. have built the "City of Berlin" and "City of Chester," the two largest passenger steamships of their day. The following is a statement of their operations:~ez_mdash~

The Port-Glasgow firms of Blackwood & Gordon and Robert Duncan & Co. have also been working on an extensive scale. Since 1860 Messrs Blackwood & Gordon have built 167 vessels. Messrs Robert Duncan & Co. were at work here previous to 1840, and during the seventeen years from 1867 to 1883 they launched 133 vessels, 55 of which were sailing ships, besides a number of river boats, and barges shipped in pieces to the Colonies. Their turn-out in tonnage was as follows:~ez_mdash~

The sugar-refining industry of Greenock is one of the most important of the kind in the United Kingdom, rivalling that of London. It has been carried on in this locality for upwards of seventy years, and at present there are ten refining firms, nine of these being in Greenock and one in Port-Glasgow. Most of the establishments have doubled, and in some instances trebled, during the past twenty-five years, all of them being now of considerable size. The Roxburgh Street Company's works are capable of turning out 160 tons of refined sugar daily. The raw material comes partly from Java and Mauritius, and partly from the Continent. France and Germany are the chief sources of beetroot sugar, of which there has been a greatly-increased import during recent years. Thirty years ago there was little demand for the best beetroot article, the staple material of manufacture then being cane sugar from the West Indies. The principal improvement in the refining art is the drying of the sugar by centrifugal machines, instead of by moults. This we believe shortens the process from weeks to days. This industry has undergone rapid and substantial development during the last twenty-five years, as the following figures will show:~ez_mdash~

Imports.

Periods.

Sugar.

Molasses.

Total.

During the four years 1830, 1840, 1851, there were imported...
During the four years ending 1855,
Do. do. 1859,
Do. do. 1863,
Do. do. 1867,
Do. do. 1871,
Do. do. 1875,
Do. do. 1879,
1850

Tons.
92,412 149,377 175,118 357,552 456,103 689,976 801,722 950,345

Tons.
49,409 78,981 60,431 47,939 16,519 19,107 12,503 10,434

Tons.
141,821 228,358 235,549 405,491 472,622 709,083 814,225 960,779

At present the annual amount is about 250,000 tons of refined sugar, being one-third of the amount consumed in Great Britain. The number of operatives in Greenock sugar houses has increased from 584 in 1861 to 1241 in 1881.

Wool Spinning, &c.

Another important industry is that carried on by Messrs Fleming, Reid, & Co. at the Merino Mill, Greenock. This business has been in existence for forty-five years, and consists of the manufacture of worsted yarns from raw wool. Both home and foreign wools are used, the latter being imported from Russia, Mediterranean districts, and the East. From first to last the material undergoes eight different processes. These are sorting, scouring, combing, carding, drawing, preparing, roving, and spinning. The output within the last twenty-five years has more than doubled, and at present the working staff numbers 500. Considerable energy is shown in the management of this firm. Their mill, which was burnt to the ground in 1880, has been rebuilt on as large a scale as before; and with a view to extending their business, they have lately opened retail shops in all the principal towns of Scotland, and are extending their lines in like manner in England. The neighbouring establishment of Messrs Robert Houston & Sons is also an extensive manufactory. The weaving and dyeing of tweeds is the business carried on in it. The concern has been in existence for over one hundred years, and within the past twenty-five years has doubled the extent of its operations.

Shipping.

As a commercial port Greenock ranks fifth among Scotch towns. Its harbours are large and well equipped, and have railway communication both by the Caledonian and Glasgow and South-Western systems. The chief imports are timber and sugar, and the principal exports coal and pig iron. The following table shows the amount of coal and pig iron conveyed for shipment to the harbours at various periods since 1861:~ez_mdash~

Periods.

Coal.

Pig Iron.

Tons.

Tons.

For the three years ending July 31 1864, .

317,844

15,424

Do.

do.

1867

344,305

34,919

Do.

do.

1870

410,317

66,532

Do.

do.

1873

529,933

74,165

Do.

do.

1876

736,707

24,838

Do.

do.

1879

614,391

19,572

Next to sugar, timber is the chief article imported. As Greenock and Port-Glasgow are the principal ports for the unloading of timber in the west of Scotland, this trade is a very important one, and has grown considerably since 1860. The timber chiefly imported is American and Baltic pines, with a considerable quantity of teak for shipwright purposes, and staves for cooper work. The red and yellow pines come from Canada and the Northern States, pitch pine from Pensacola, and spar wood from Oregon. Timber from the North American regions is only shipped in summer~ez_mdash~two cargoes of it arriving yearly~ez_mdash~one in July and another in October. The wood being consigned to importers is stored in large ponds, to be gradually disposed of to sawmillers and others. Logs for masts or spars sometimes approach 100 feet in length, but 30 feet is an average length for general purposes. Much more Baltic timber is imported now than twenty-five years ago, the abolition of a duty which was formerly imposed having encouraged the demand.

There are double the number of saw-mills in the district than there were in the year 1860, and the premises of the older firms have all been greatly enlarged. The following table, showing the timber import at Greenock for a series of years beginning 1830, will illustrate pretty clearly the expansion of the trade:~ez_mdash~

Periods.

Timber.

Deals.

Staves.


For the four years 1830, 1840, 1850, 1851..
For the four year period ending Sept. 30, 1855,
For the four year period ending Sept. 30, 1859,
For the four year period ending Sept. 30, 1863,
For the four year period ending Sept. 30, 1867,
For the four year period ending Sept. 30, 1871,
For the four year period ending Sept. 30, 1875,
For the four year period ending Sept. 30, 1879,

Loads. 161,268 182,790 231,462 206,461 290,072 294,050 403,883 398,199


5,962
8,223
8,245
9,207
9,941
8,520 731,046 1,564,848


18,158 13,092 18,221 17,533 19,497 27,408 20,897
....

It may be explained that a load means 50 cubic feet. Deals are planks, 3 inches thick, intended to be sawn into boards. Staves are short pieces of wood for the cooper trade.

The following is a statement of the total traffic to and from the harbours, as carried by the Caledonian and Glasgow and South-Western Railways. We may mention that the Glasgow and South-Western branch was not opened till 1870 :~ez_mdash~

Between the first three years' period and the last there has thus arisen an increase of 162,762 tons in the amount of goods passed through the harbours. The valuation roll and census returns also bear testimony to the progress of the town. The population of the Parliamentary burgh since 1851 was as follows:~ez_mdash~

In point of valuation the town has more than doubled its ratable property since 1860. In that year it had a gross valuation of 129,476, while its value for 1885-86 amounts to 401,124 It is worthy of note that its valuation in 1881 was eight times, and its population ten times as large as in 1765, while between the years 1830 and 1881 the harbour revenue leapt up from 9000 to 74,000.

In 1871 a graving dock, 650 feet long, was opened at Garvel, at a cost of 80,000 ; and some five years ago still more extensive operations were begun in the same locality. This scheme includes the James Watt Dock, covering 14 acres, to cost 350,000,~ez_mdash~which has just been completed,~ez_mdash~two tidal harbours each 7 acres in extent, and a great harbour covering 46 acres, all formed by embanking the river. The total cost of the work will be 150,000. The James Watt is the only wet dock on the Clyde where tonnage of largest size and draught can be always afloat, and the only place on the Clyde with waterside warehouses, thus presenting not only to shipowners a valuable guarantee of safety, but to the grain trade important new facilities and advantages. There is a depth of 32 feet on the sill of the dock. The commodious sheds and waterside warehouses into which cargoes pass direct from the ship insure large saving in handling and the minimum of expense. The Caledonian and Glasgow and South-Western Railways, arms of the London and North-Western and Midland systems, run alongside ships and through warehouses (whereby delivery and distribution throughout the country are rendered cheap and expeditious), and the large fleet of steamers employed in the Irish and in the coasting trades to all ports of any consequence call at Greenock, whereby distribution throughout Ireland and along the coast is more quickly and economically carried out than hitherto. Wharfage on all kinds of grain is 5d. per ton on import at Greenock, as compared with 1s. 3d. per ton at Glasgow; and there are obvious savings of cartages, porterages, and other charges from the waterside delivery into warehouse.

The importance of Greenock to the grain trade by the opening of the dock will be more fully realised from the following statistics of the movement of breadstuffs in and out of Glasgow:~ez_mdash~

Between 28th July and 1st September 1886~ez_mdash~six weeks~ez_mdash~ the total amount of grain stuffs imported was 50,582 tons, while 31,129 tons were exported, thus~ez_mdash~By railways, 18,423 tons; shipped to Ireland, 6303 tons; shipped coastwise, 6403 tons. Of the total quantity imported into Glasgow, 17,489 tons were flour. Of this, 10,290 tons were sent to Scotland and England by rail 3864 to Ireland and 2830 coastwise; together, 16,984 tons, or only 500 tons less than the quantity of flour imported.

Greenock is alike convenient for import and export, a preferable point for distribution to Ireland and coastwise, and for a large area in Scotland. Besides, the through charges via Greenock, already referred to, being favourable to importers, offer a material inducement to them to establish a new depot at Greenock~ez_mdash~not only for a share of the trade hitherto passing via Glasgow, but for introducing and developing Indian and Californian supplies, still shut out by prejudice from the Clyde, but in favour in Ireland, to which Greenock is the nearest point.

New municipal buildings have just been erected in Greenock, at the cost of about 126,000.

Renfrew.

The main industry in this town is shipbuilding, as carried on by Messrs Simons & Co. and Messrs Lobnitz & Co., both of which are old-established firms. The latter represent the old

firm of Barr & Macnab, who migrated from Paisley and located themselves at Renfrew about the year 1840. Messrs Simons & Co.'s firm have been in existence since 1816. The father of the present Mr Simons built for the British Government the war fleet which fought the Americans on Lake Champion under Sir George Prevost. The works of the firm extend over 15 acres of ground, and they include all the departments necessary in producing a complete steamship. They manufacture their own engines, boilers, and machinery, and it is customary to launch the vessels with those fitted on board, which enables them sometimes to get a trial of the machinery the same day that the vessel takes the water. In all, 250 vessels, of varied dimensions and form, have now been built by them. This firm has had considerable experience in the construction of dredging vessels, to which they have devoted special attention, and several important patents have been taken out by them in connection with this class of vessel. Among these may be mentioned the hopper dredger, an invention, that is, to a great extent, superseding the ordinary dredger. They have supplied dredgers to almost all the leading ports and harbours in the country, besides many others for foreign and colonial ports. Three of the most powerful dredgers and nine of the steam hopper barges, at present working on the Clyde, were constructed by them, besides a diving bell, and a steam ferry for horse and carriage traffic. They built the first 4-screw steam ferry "Oxton" for carriage traffic on the Mersey, and have lately constructed two steam sewage barges for conveying the refuse of the city of Liverpool out to sea. These barges do their work very satisfactorily. The elevating ferry steamer, to suit the rise and fall of the tide, was also invented by the firm; while the s.s. "India," 2500 tons, built by them, was the first vessel fitted with compound engines for the North Atlantic trade. During the four years, 1863-67, they turned out 20 screw steamers, 8 paddle, 1 hopper dredger, 3 ordinary dredgers, and 1 sailing ship. These 33 vessels represented a gross tonnage of 12,920, having 189,475 horse power. During the four years, 1879-83, their output comprised 13 screw steamers, 10 hopper dredgers, 3 ordinary dredgers, making a total of 26 vessels, whose gross tonnage was 12,663, and horse power 126,225. The average number of employees during both periods was 900.

Messrs Lobnitz & Co.'s establishment is also very large and important. For the five years following 1878 their output was as follows:~ez_mdash~In 1879, 1550 tons; in 1880, 2730; in 1881, 10,870; in 1882, 7648; and in 1883, 6662. The following is the aggregate output in this burgh at various periods:~ez_mdash~In 1869, 6079 tons; in 1879, 6700 ; and in 1883, 13,448.

The only other noticeable industry carried on here is muslin weaving at the Moorpark Factory, where Messrs George Wilson & Co. have 270 power looms at work. Each loom turns out daily a piece of cloth averaging 75 yards long, and from 34 to 36 inches wide. This factory, under the present firm and their predecessors, has been going for fourteen years, employing constantly about 130 people.

The Burgh of Renfrew census returns, and valuation in different years, were as follows:~ez_mdash~

Its corporation revenue in 1884-85 was 4391, and its harbour revenue 455.

Johnstone.

This busy growing town was so lately as 1783 inhabited by only ten persons. Shortly after that year, however, a trade in cotton-spinning sprang up, and extended so rapidly that about the year 1830 there were fourteen cotton mills in the village and its vicinity, and a population of nearly 4000. Cotton-spinning is, however, not now the staple industry of the town. It has diminished during the past twenty years. The main sources of revenue are its iron-working and thread-making establishments. At present it contains ten engine and tool-making shops, also three iron foundries, and one boiler shop. These employ an aggregate of 900 people, mostly skilled mechanics. A quarter of a century ago, the workmen in the various shops together did not exceed 250.

Among the articles turned out of these establishments are machine tools for engineers and shipbuilders, sawmill and wood working machinery, hydraulic and printing machines, &c. One of the most prominent firms in town is that of John M'Dowall & Sons, Walkinshaw Foundry. The business carried on by this firm is now over sixty years old. At first iron-founding and boiler-making was their chief occupation, but for many years they have devoted their attention mainly to wood-working machinery. In this department they have gained a wide reputation, their produce having found its way into Government sawmills, as well as the arsenals and dockyards of foreign countries. For their display of sawing, planing, moulding, and dovetailing machinery, &c, they received a gold medal of the first

class at the Forestry Exhibition two years ago in Edinburgh, and also medals at the Sydney International Exhibition in 1880 and the Indian Akolar Exhibition in 1868. Their turn out averages 200 machines yearly, valued at 30,000; and the present working staff numbers 170, as compared with 60 some twenty-five years ago.

The flax mill of Messrs Finlayson, Bousefield, & Co. is one of the largest factories of the kind in the country. The works have been expanded to twelve times their original size, and now employ 2500 workers, or about five times the number required some thirty years ago.

According to the Board of Trade returns, the trade of the burgh has doubled within the past twelve years; while the census statistics exhibit a substantial increase of population, thus~ez_mdash~

Paisley.

Though founded in the reign of King Malcolm IV. (1163), this royal burgh was long in acquiring the dimensions or importance of a town.

In 1710 it consisted only of one street and a few lanes, while its population did not exceed 1500. The Revolution of 1688 brought new life and a growing trade to the town, and the art of weaving all kinds of textile fabrics quickly increased. It was plunged into deep distress by the failure of the fancy trade some thirty years ago; but this caused its inhabitants to embark in other industries, the success of which has surpassed all expectation, and placed the burgh in a state of greater prosperity than ever.

At present Paisley contains about 1200 handlooms, 700 of which are engaged in skirtings, winceys, and dress goods. About 300 more are engaged in the manufacture of grey goods, curtains, fee:; and about 200 in tapestry, shawls, stays, and other fabrics. Power-loom weaving is also carried on to some extent within its confines. This branch of the industry began about twenty-five years ago. At the Underwood Factory, Messrs R. P. Kerr & Co. have between 500 and 600 looms at work on tapestry and winceys. Messrs George Wilson & Co.'s factory contains 500 looms producing muslins, and two other firms have 550 looms between them weaving winceys. Power-loom weaving is also prosecuted to some extent.

The manufacture of thread is extensively carried on. It dates back to the beginning of last century, when it was begun on a very small and unpretentious scale, and its progress has been such as to secure for Paisley the distinction of being the chief seat of this industry in Britain. At first the material used was flax, but about the beginning of the century the superior sewing qualities of cotton thread were discovered, and the foundation of the present extensive industry was commenced. At present there are three large firms in the burgh engaged in the manufacture of sewing cotton. These are Messrs Clark & Co., Messrs J. & P. Coats, and Messrs R. P. Kerr & Co.

Messrs Clark & Co.'s works, called the Anchor Thread Mills, have from time to time been reconstructed and enlarged till now they include five or six large factories. One of the largest of these contains 71,000 spindles, which are driven by engines of 1300 horse-power. A still larger factory, called the "Pacific," has 80,000 spindles, and engines of 17,000 horse-power. Some twenty-five years ago the number of spindles at work in Messrs Clark's establishment was 20,000. In 1868 they increased to 55,000, and in 1872 to 124,000. Now they amount to the extraordinary number of 230,000. Fifty years ago the hands employed by the firm numbered about 150 ; their working staff now numbers over 3400, whose united fortnightly wages amount to about 4000. The annual output is something like 4500 tons of finished material (thread on spools). For bleaching, dyeing, spool and box-making, &c, they have all the necessary facilities within themselves. They use annually between six and seven thousand tons of birch wood for bobbins, besides being large importers of the finished article; and it is a curious fact in connection with the division of labour and improvements on machinery that, when the Messrs Clark started business, bobbins cost 6s. per gross, whereas now a better description can be had for 8d. or 9d. For boxes for packing their finished goods, 10 tons of cardboard are required each month.

The factory carried on by Messrs Coats at Ferguslie is equally complete, and nearly as extensive. Both firms, it may be. mentioned, have large branch establishments in America, in each of which about 2000 hands are employed.

In 1872 the cotton thread exported from Paisley weighed 8,043,856 lbs., and was valued at 1,400,243. At present the total value of the thread made in town will reach 9,000,000 annually. In 1837 its annual value was only 100,000.

In 1812 the total number of hands engaged in the cotton thread industry of Paisley was 120. In 1861 the number returned was 1721; in 1881 they had increased to 3477 ; while now they may safely be estimated at over 6000. These are mostly females, 14 years of age and upwards, working on the piece-work system, and earning from 6s. to 15s. per week.

Another industry extensively pursued in Paisley is dyeing. This business, which is over 100 years old, has during the last quarter of a century made considerable progress. The number of large firms in existence at present is twenty-two, as compared with fifteen in the year 1860. One of the principal dyeworks in the town is that carried on by Messrs Leckie and Macgregor; and the following account of the business done by that firm will convey some idea of the progress of this industry. Within the last twenty-five years their works have much more than doubled in size, and now cover a large area of ground. Last year they employed about 70 operative dyers, exclusive of 5 foremen; and in addition to that, about 50 other hands, comprising boys, labourers, tradesmen, warehousemen, &c. The weekly expenditure in wages varies from 90 to 130, according to the pressure of work. In 1860 only 59 dyers were employed, 50 men and boys and 10 foremen~ez_mdash~in all 119 hands~ez_mdash~receiving wages to the amount of 79 per week. A dyer then was paid at the rate of 3s. 4d. per day, whereas his daily wages now are 4s. 6d.

Messrs Leckie & Macgregor's overturn of goods in 1884 was nearly 700,000 lbs., varying from 30,000 lbs. in February to 80,000 lbs. in June. In 1860 the output was not much more than half the above, but their profit was more satisfactory. When trade is brisk the total number of workers employed is as follows:~ez_mdash~

In 1822 there were 50 dyers in the town, and in 1837 these had increased to 500.

Another notable Paisley industry is the manufacture of starch, which originated some forty or fifty years ago. Eight firms are at present engaged in it, as compared with four twenty-five years ago; and the premises of all the older firms have greatly extended during that time. The Glenfield Starch Works, which have been in existence for nearly fifty years, are now six times as large as they were a quarter of a century ago. The goods turned out from them are starch, corn flour, and feeding meal. These three products are constituents of Indian corn, which is the staple article used in Paisley Starch Works, but Messrs Wotherspoon & Co.'s speciality called Glenfield Starch is made from sago. Steam is now much more extensively used in the process than it was twenty-five years ago, so that manual labour has not increased at a corresponding rate to the output. At Glenfield the working staff in 1842 numbered little over half a dozen; in 1860 about 100, now there are 150. The annual output some thirty years ago was about 1000 tons, as compared with 5000 tons now. The total number of employees in all the Paisley starch works together is at present about 600, and the total yearly produce something like 31,000 tons.

Engineering, ironfoundries, and shipbuilding also hold a prominent place among the numerous industrial institutions of the town. There are at present thirty engineering and ironworking firms, nine of which have started within the last twenty-five years. Among the works executed are mill and marine machinery, steam bridges, gaswork fittings, iron roofing, &c. In 1861 there were 335 engineers and ironworkers in town, in 1881 these had increased to 864.

The shipbuilding trade of Paisley twenty-five years ago seems to have been unimportant. Some fifty artisans carried it on. In 1881 there were 412 shipbuilding operatives employed. In 1868 the turnout from the several shipbuilding yards did not much exceed 1500 tons. The following is a statement of five years' produce:~ez_mdash~

Years.

Tons.

1879,

 5,859

1880,

10,427

1881,

13,899

1882,

11,725

1883,

11,364

In this connection we may mention that arrangements have just been completed for the construction of an extensive harbour at Paisley. The Cart Navigation Trustees have accepted the offer of Mr John Mackie, Edinburgh, to form a harbour and deepen the Cart to the depth of 18 feet from the harbour to the entrance, and also to straiten the river by removing two small islands. The work, which is to cost 68,000, is to be commenced immediately, and finished in three years. The harbour will be 111 feet long and 600 feet wide, and will, doubtless, be a valuable acquisition to the town.

Among other trades carried on are soap-making, timber-dealing, fireclay brick-making, and tanning, all of which have participated in the industrial progress of the past twenty-five years. The following statistics give the population of the burgh at different periods :~ez_mdash~

Year.

Population.

Year.

Population.

1781

16,000

1861

47,406

1811

29,541

1871

48,258

1831

31.460

1881

55,627

In respect of valuation the town has increased by leaps and bounds since 1860. In that year its valuation was 101,952 ; in 1871-72, 134,460; in 1882-83, 216,957; and 1886-87, 232,330. The town has for many years ranked fifth among the eight principal towns in Scotland as regards size.

Other Towns and Villages.

The principal of these are Pollokshaws, Barrhead, Thornlie-bank, Neilston, and Busby, all of which are situated in the eastern district of the county. The chief industrial concerns carried on in and around these towns are bleachworks and calico-printing establishments. The vicinity to such manufacturing towns as Paisley and Glasgow, combined with the good supply of water afforded by the various streams, has made this part of Renfrewshire notable for bleaching and calico-printing.

Bleaching in this county dates back to the middle of last century. Operations were then carried on in the open air, the cloth being spread on fields adjoining the White Cart and the Espedair. In 1812 Mr Wilson reports that there were fifty-six bleachfields in the county, and that they almost universally followed the newest and shortest process by preparing bleaching powder or bleaching liquor, and thus carried on most of the work indoors. In the year 1857 they had decreased to twenty-nine, and at present they are only about eighteen in number, including one or two scouring establishments. This certainly indicates a diminution of trade, but not so great as the figures by themselves imply, as the works of the present time are larger than those of former days, and owing to improved machinery and methods are able to turn out a much greater quantity of work. The produce comprises shirtings, costumes, angolas, and other woollen stuffs, as well as lace curtains, muslins, prints, and cotton fabrics generally. The bleachwork carried on by Messrs John Macnab & Co. at Midtown is an old established and successful institution. Its extent is now double what it was twenty-five years ago, and twelve times as large as it was fifty years ago ; whereas at the last mentioned period there were only two sets of beetles at work in the establishment, the firm now find employment for one hundred sets. Twenty-five years ago, four boilers, requiring 12 tons of coal per day, sufficed for driving the machinery; just now there are seven boilers, requiring 30 tons of coal daily. About the year 1860 the firm employed 100 hands, but they now have 200, and this increase of hands would be much greater but for the economy of labour effected by improved machinery and other inventions in the bleaching art. Proof of this latter is amply supplied by the fact that at Newlandsfield, Pollokshaws, in another class of goods, 250 hands are now able to turn out more work than 400 could have done at one time.

One of the earliest works in Scotland for printing linens and cottons was established at Pollokshaws some time previous to 1770. About that year the same business was commenced at Barrhead, and in 1773 at Ferneeze, in the parish of Neilston. This was followed by the establishment of works at Thomliebank, and this again, about the beginning of the present century, by the erection of the Lochar Print Works at Bridge of Weir. With the exception of Pollokshaws, all these works are carried on to the present day. There are at present seven print-fields in operation in the county. The most important of these factories is that of Messrs Crum, Ewing, & Co. at Thomliebank. The three branches of bleaching, printing, and dyeing are carried on, employing, when in full operation, between 1200 and 1300 hands. The steam power employed in driving the machinery is about 1400 horse-power, involving the consumption of upwards of 100 tons of coal per day. Some 200 engines of various sizes are in use. The printing machines, forty in number, can produce daily about 50 miles of printed calico, the cloth being about a yard wide. The printing is done from copper cylinders, each colour requiring a separate cylinder. There are about 8000 cylinders in use, forming a mass of copper weighing 400 tons.

The town of Thomliebank is mainly supported by this work. It has increased in population 317 since 1861.

Another large print-work is carried on by Messrs Inglis and Wakefield at Busby. They employ about 700 hands. Their business is done partly on their own behoof, and partly for a Manchester house of exporters. In 1842 the present company acquired the work, which was then of small dimensions. The block method of printing was at first so extensively adopted as to give employment to 400 printers, but it was not of long duration. About 1856 it was largely superseded by cylindrical printing.

The cotton famine in 1862 checked business somewhat; but in consequence of India and Egypt resolving to grow cotton, trade revived and continued brisk till 1874. Having thus increased their printing machines to twenty-two, Messrs Inglis and Wakefield were producing during these years of prosperity 800,000 pieces of printed goods per annum. Since 1874 business with printers generally has been on the wane. Some large establishments have ceased to work full time, and one considerable print-work in this county has entirely collapsed.

The prices of produce have fallen greatly of recent years. As an instance of the depreciation, it may be mentioned that 10d. was a common charge thirty years ago for the bleaching of a piece of goods which must now be done for 3d ; and for a class of goods, now bleaching at 1d. per piece, 3d. or 4d. was the former cost.

Thirty years ago, work in bleach and print fields was carried on for 12 hours per day and 72 hours per week. For their week's labour men earned 12s., and women 6s. Now the hours of labour have been reduced to 56 per week, and for this the men receive 24s., and the women 9s.

Besides the bleaching and printing industries, cotton-weaving, thread and paper making, and engineering are more or less extensively carried on. Of the three weaving factories at present in operation at Pollokshaws, two have risen within the last quarter of a century. These three works employ at present about 1350 hands. Paper-making is a comparatively new industry. The three establishments engaged in it employ between them about 130 hands. Two engineering shops have also sprung into existence within the last generation, and a turkey-red dyework gives employment to nearly 300 workers.

In the busy village of Neilston, the Crofthead Thread Factory of the Messrs Alexander is an important and useful source of labour, and has of late extended to nearly three times its original dimensions. Various engineering and other industries of considerable importance cluster around the village of Barrhead.

Kilbarchan, a weaving village with 1100 handlooms at work, has remained almost stationary during the past five-and-twenty years. Lochwinnoch, owing to the decline of weaving and cotton-spinning, has decreased in population; while the village of Eaglesham has diminished from the same cause.

Pollokshields, by reason of its popularity as a suburban residence for Glasgow citizens, has grown considerably of recent years. It now comprises over three hundred villas, whereas thirty years ago it had only about three dozen houses. To a similar cause is attributable the development of such populous places as Kinning Park, Crossbill, Strathbungo, &c, quite a cluster of which are to be found in that part of Renfrewshire adjoining Glasgow. Since the Glasgow and South-Western Railway entered Kilmalcolm parish, the village has acquired some reputation as a health resort, and has grown rapidly in population and extent. The neighbouring village of Bridge of Weir, despite its failure some years ago of the cotton-spinning industry, has, on account of its popularity as a country residence, maintained its former population; and the watering village of Gourock has grown within the last twenty-five years to the dimensions of a town.

The following table gives a comparative view of the population in the villages mentioned:~ez_mdash~

Cotton-Spinning.

This pursuit at one time ranked prominently among the industries of the county. In 1812 it was carried on in forty-seven separate establishments, employing 23,700 spindles and about 5000 people. During the next forty-five years, however, it decreased nearly one-half, and since then it has been " growing smaller by degrees." There are now only some two or three manufactories in the county.

Mining.

Coal.~ez_mdash~As already mentioned, coal abounds in several districts, and mining operations have been in progress for several centuries. Nearly four hundred years have elapsed since the first shaft was sunk at Hurlet, and the work is still going on. In this neighbourhood four collieries gave employment to from twelve to thirty miners in the year 1812; and the success of the excavations led to a gradual and substantial extension of operations. In 1857 eleven pits yielded good reward for time and labour, while five shafts in this district had ere then been exhausted. In the Johnstone district coal mines have been working for nearly a century. The Quarrelton coal bed, situated here, contains a succession of layers 90 feet in thickness. In 1857 there were six pits in operation, and twelve extinct ones. But this field has become nearly exhausted, and at present there is only one colliery going, viz., the Quarrelton pit, owned by Mr Ludovick Houston. Some time anterior to 1861, mining was commenced on the Blackstone and Walkinshaw estates, near Paisley. In 1876 there were eight coal works going on there, but they have dwindled to three, viz., one at Blackstone, another at Blackstoun, and a third at Inkerman. Coal is also wrought at Jordanhill, Clippens, and at Fulton, near Johnstone, so that there are at present eleven pits going in the county. In 1872 the Coal Commission estimated the coal supply of Renfrewshire at 25,881,285 tons. Since then it has been drawn upon at something like the rate of 132,954 tons yearly. The value of the total output in 1884 was computed at 27,389.

Ironstone.~ez_mdash~This mineral was wrought to a very small extent at Blackhall, near Paisley, ninety years ago; and about the year 1827 it was worked at Hurlet, but not on an extensive scale until about the year 1854, when Messrs Merry & Cunningham began their extensive operations in the Johnstone district. In the year 1857 there were fourteen ironstone pits in operation about Linwood and Clippens. In 1861 Messrs Robert Addie and Sons opened three new pits in Inchinnan parish, which, however, are now exhausted. This mineral was also extensively wrought at Jordanhill, and much of it has been taken from seams at Pollokshields, Hurlet, Walkinshaw, &c. There are at present ten ironstone mines in operation, viz., five in the Paisley district, two near Johnstone, two at Jordanhill, and one at Hurlet. As much as 207,316 tons were excavated in 1884, yielding a gross value of 88,109.

Limestone and Sandstone.~ez_mdash~Limestone is obtained by mining at Howrood, in Lochwinnoch parish. It is also found at Darnley and Arden, in Eastwood parish, where it is both quarried and mined. The lime produced at the latter places is well known as an excellent cement. The sandstone wrought near the beginning of the century at Nitshill appears to have many years ago become exhausted. The chief quarries are now at Griffnock, a few miles eastward of this point. These quarries have for long been in the possession of Messrs Baird & Stevenson, who employ in them upwards of 500 men. The stone obtained is excellent building material, and is widely used in Glasgow and other western districts. The total quantity of sandstone unearthed in Renfrewshire during the year 1885 amounted to 23,500 tons.

Pyrites and Aluminous Schist.~ez_mdash~The coal bed at Hurlet contains valuable veins both of pyrites and aluminous schist. Works for the manufacture of alum and copperas have been in operation at Hurlet for over ninety years. The best days of this industry are over, the minerals required for it being now nearly exhausted. Only some 314 tons of these minerals were quarried during the year 1884, which were valued at 150.

Shale.~ez_mdash~A mineral abundantly found in the Paisley and Johnstone districts is shale. When Mr Young's patent expired about twenty years ago, the manufacture of paraffin and other products of the shale was taken up by several mining companies. At present there are four firms engaged in the business, viz., the Walkinshaw Oil Company; the Clippens Oil Company; Allan, Craig, & Sons ; and William Black & Sons. The shale is rich in oil, yielding 40 gallons per ton of crude, but it is poorer in ammonia than the eastern shales. In 1884, 97,273 tons of oil shale were unearthed, representing a gross value of 26,750.

The number of miners employed in 1861 and in 1881 was as follows:~ez_mdash~


Return to our Agriculture Index Page