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Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
The Agriculture of the Counties of Elgin and Nairn

By Alexander Macdonald, Sub-Editor, North British Agriculturist, Edinburgh.
Thirty Sovereigns.'}


The counties of Moray and Nairn, if among the smaller in Scotland, have long occupied a front place agriculturally. To say nothing at this stage of the dryness of the climate on the plains of Morayshire, of the richness of the landscape, especially in the Forres district, or of the kindliness of soil over the greater part of both counties, there are certain branches of rural industry in which Moray men have latterly elevated themselves and their county to a very distinguished position. The superiority of the Moray and Nairn barley, and often also wheat and potatoes, have long been topics of favourable comment among agriculturists and traders. In these respects the combined counties occupy the first place north of the Grampians, if not north of the Tay.

Much more celebrity still has been acquired for Moray in the department of cattle rearing and feeding, particularly from the great English Christmas fat shows. No fewer than three times during the last sixteen years has the great prize of the year for fat stock—the championship at Smithfield—gone to Morayshire, —to Earnhill in 1866, to Burnside in 1872, and to Altyre in 1881. No other Scotch or even English county has accomplished such a feat. Moray and Nairn have had their full share of other showyard honours, chiefly for cattle, and have also reared many pedigree animals, as well as fattened a large number of the primest beeves, annually for the great southern markets.

These two counties combined form the north-eastern and larger portion of the ancient province of Moray, which, roughly speaking, extends from Banffshire in the east to Ross-shire in the west, and from Perth in the south to the Moray Firth in the north. Morayshire is by far the larger of the two, and also the more important, from an agricultural point of view. It extends from north to south 40 miles, and from east to west 20; has an area of 531 square miles, or, according to the Ordnance Survey, 312,378 imperial acres, including lakes, rivers, and foreshores. In size it ranks eighteenth among Scotch counties, and constitutes 1/64th part of the entire area of Scotland.

This county is bounded on the east by Banffshire, from which it is partly separated by the river Spey, on the south by the upper or hilly districts of Inverness-shire, and on the west by the county of Nairn, while on the north it is washed by the German Ocean. The eastern extremity is in 57° 39' N. lat. and in 3° 7' W. long.; the western extremity in 57° 17' N. lat. and in 3° 45' W. long.; the most southern point in 57° 17'N. lat. and 3° 39' W. long.; and the extreme northern part of the county in 57° 43' N. lat. and 3° 16' W. long. Towards the centre of the county the N. lat. is about 57° 39', and W. long, about 3° 16'.

It is stated in the Agricultural Returns of 1881, that the total area of the county is 340,000 acres; and the returns of owners of lands and heritages, drawn up in 1872-73, gives an estimate of 303,168 acres as the property of 2564 owners, 2313 of whom are proprietors of lands less than 1 acre in extent. The gross annual value of the total acreage of property is given as £203,705. Those who possess less than 1 acre have 432 acres in all, while the owners of 1 acre and upwards claim 302,736 acres.

Nairnshire is bounded on the east by Morayshire, on the south and west by Inverness-shire, and on the north by the Moray Firth. Its greatest length is about 22 miles, its greatest breadth about 15 miles; and according to the Agricultural Returns for 1881, its total area is 137,500 imperial acres, including inland waters and foreshores. The gross annual value, according to the Valuation Roll for 1881, is £34,284, 19s. 3d. The most eastern point is in N. lat. 57° 38', and in W. long. 3° 45'; the extreme western point in N. lat. 57° 36', and in W. long. 3° 45'; the point extending furthest southwards—known as Carn Alt Laigh Stone, where the counties of Inverness, Moray, and Nairn all join—in 57° 22' N. lat. and in 3° 48' W. long.; the most northern point in N. lat. 57° 38', and W. long. 3° 51'. This county ranks twenty-ninth among Scotch counties, and makes up about 1/141 part of the surface of Scotland. There are several detached portions of Nairnshire lying within the boundaries of Morayshire. The largest of these sections has an area of about 43½ acres, of which about 14 acres is covered by water.

In 1873 there were 537 owners of land, whose property was 120,765 acres, and estimated at £41,767 gross annual value. Seventy owners possess each 1 acre of land and upwards, having amongst them a total of 120,636 acres. The other 467 proprietors hold lands less than 1 acre in extent, and measuring in all only 129 acres, or on an average less than one-third of an acre each. Morayshire contains twenty-two parishes, but six of these are only partly within its boundaries. Of these six parishes, which lie partly beyond the limits of this county, five stretch for a considerable distance into Banffshire; while Dyke and Moy, which are usually regarded as one parish, extend into the adjacent county of Nairn on the west. There are only two royal burghs in the county, viz., Elgin and Forres, although there are many villages of considerable importance. The royal burgh, or city of Elgin, as it is frequently called, from the fact that it has been the residence of a bishop, with a cathedral in it, is pleasantly situated on the bank of the river Lossie, which in passing Elgin runs through a beautiful sylvan valley. At an early period the town seems to have stood further to the west, at or behind what is now the site of the Infirmary and Lunatic Asylum. Originally the town consisted of huts surrounding Lady Hill, a mound at the west end of the town, about 100 feet high, surmounted by a tall monument to the last Duke of Gordon. Lady Hill was named from a church which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and which once stood on the top of it. There are now the ruins of a castle upon the summit of this mound, which had been built of run lime, and the foundation of which can still be traced, showing that it occupied the whole top of the hill. When it was built it is impossible to say. It was held successively by the Douglases, Dunbars, and also the Lairds of Darnaway, who received certain customs from the burgesses of the town. Kings of Scotland sometimes lived in the castle of Elgin, as was the case with Malcolm III., but the building has been in ruins for about 400 years. The town of Elgin is supposed to have derived its name from Helgy, a Norwegian general, for upon the town seal "S. Commune Civitatis D. Helgyn" was engraved in Saxon characters, supposed to have been done about the middle of the sixteenth century. The cathedral, the principal feature of historical and architectural interest in Elgin, was one of the most magnificent in Scotland. It was founded in 1224, and the bishop removed from his residence at Spynie to Elgin at that period. The ruins of the cathedral, which are very majestic, and which many go far to see, are the most massive of any of the kind in Scotland. It was burned in the year 1390 by Robert Stewart, Earl of Buchan, and Lord of Badenoch, known as the "Wolf of Badenoch."

In the eighteenth century there was a good deal of manufacturing in Elgin. There were many hand-weavers in the town, but the power-loom has superseded all these. There are-two woollen manufactories at present in the town, one at Newmill and the other in Bishopmill. Besides these factories, there is an extensive tan-work, which has been in operation for more than half a century. Elgin is the county town of Morayshire, and the returning burgh for the member of Parliament elected by Elgin, Banff, Cullen, Inverurie, Kin tore, and Peterhead. The parliamentary constituency in 1881 was 930. In short, Elgin may be called a fashionable little city; many retired naval and military officers, and business men, have been attracted to it by its pleasant situation and mild climate. The population of Elgin in 1881 was 7413, 3257 males and 4156 females. The number of separate families is 1816, and the number of inhabited houses 1465, while there are about 40 houses vacant and about 20 building. During the past half century the population has been slowly increasing, but not very materially. The town derives considerable importance from the fact that, so to speak, it is the metropolis of a large rural district.

It appears that the erection of the sheriffdom of Moray took place in the reign of James II., and, although Sir Alexander Dunbar of West field was deprived of the earldom of the county in the minority of James II., because he was accounted an illegitimate son of John Dunbar, he was in 1450 made heritable sheriff, whose jurisdiction extended over the whole of the province of Moray. About this period, or perhaps a little earlier, the county of Inverness was much more intimately connected, socially and commercially, with the north-eastern portion of the province of Moray than it had been since the first of the fifteenth century down to the retirement of Sheriff Bell in 1882, when the counties of Elgin and Nairn were again put under the sheriff of Inverness instead of the sheriff of Banff as they had been for many years. A sheriff-substitute resides at Elgin, who holds sittings alternately at Elgin, Nairn, Grantown, and Rothes; while Sheriff Ivory, tinder whose jurisdiction are the counties of Inverness, Moray, and Nairn, resides in Edinburgh. For a number of years, or rather centuries, Elgin has been the seat of presbyteries, law, and county courts. The gross annual revenue of the burgh in 1880-81 was £30,297, 18s. 6d., while the railway valuation amounted to £781.

The other royal burgh in Morayshire is Forres, which is pleasantly situated about 12 miles to the west of Elgin. It was created a royal burgh by William the Lion. The town, though small, is clean and attractive, the locality being as famous for its scenic loveliness as for its historic interest. In its suburbs the soil is very rich and well sheltered, which, combined with warm climate, specially adapts it for garden purposes. There is also a nursery of no little importance in its neighbourhood. According to tradition, Forres was also burned by the "Wolf of Badenoch" in 1390, in consequence of a feud with the Bishop of Moray. The ancient charters of the burgh having been thus burned, a new one was granted by James IV. in 1496. The last census returns gives the population of the burgh of Forres as 4030, 2257 females and 1773 males. The number of separate families is 1036, inhabited houses 845, vacant houses 40, and 8 houses building. The principal public works, at which a good number of the inhabitants are employed, are manure manufactory, iron works, woollen factory, brewery, flour and saw mills, and coach works. The most striking object of interest to the casual observer is an immense obelisk 23 feet in height, most beautifully and richly sculptured, and prominently placed on an elevated piece of ground on the. south-east of the town. It is known as "Swenos Stone," and is said to have been erected to commemorate a defeat of the Danes. On the south-east of the burgh is Cluny Hill, on which there is a beautiful plantation and many delightful walks. From the top of this hill a fine view can be had of a long stretch of cultivated land, and beautifully laid off farms, lying between Forres and the Moray Firth. Among other objects of interest is the Forres hydropathic establishment, which is situated on the south side of Cluny Hill, and which is as useful as it is ornamental. On the top of Cluny Hill there is a tower erected in honour of Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. The total revenue of Forres for 1881 was about £1714, 16s. 3d. Along with Inverness, Nairn, and Fortrose, Forres has a representative in the House of Commons. The sitting member for these burghs is Mr C. Fraser-Mackintosh, while Mr Alexander Asher is member of Parliament for the Elgin group of burghs. The constituency of Forres in 1881 numbered 408.

As I have already indicated, there are a large number of villages in Morayshire. The principal of these are Lossiemouth, Branderburgh, and Stotfield, which together have a population of 3497; Burghead 1428, Rothes 1382, Grantown 1374, Hopeman 1323, and Garmouth and Kingston 952, &c. The total valuation of Morayshire in 1881-1882, including railways, exclusive of the royal burghs of Elgin and Forres, was £183,660 and the rural parliamentary constituency was 1617. Nairn, the only royal burgh in the county of Nairn, has a population of 4161, 1867 males and 2294 females. It will be observed that there are 427 more females than males, but it may be mentioned that this is by no means a rare occurrence in the north of Scotland. Of separate families there are 1034, inhabited houses 822, vacant houses 38, and 12 houses building. The town lies on the west bank of the river Nairn, close on the shore of the Moray Firth, and is 22 miles west of Elgin and 15 miles east of Inverness. Its distance by rail from Edinburgh is 199 miles. It is a popular bathing resort, being beautifully situated, well exposed, and in every way convenient, tidy, and healthy, while the climate is mild and warm. Numerous charters were conferred upon Nairn many centuries ago, but all were lost except one granted by King James I., which is still held by the town. This charter tells how the ancient deeds and infeffments of the burgh had been "destroyed and lost through (the) turbulences, occasion of war, and divers depredations and. incursions of Irish rebels, and through the negligence of the custodiers." Up to a comparatively recent date, Nairn was the boundary line between the Saxon and the Gael, both languages having been spoken in it. It was the boast of King James that he had "a toune in Auld Scotland, the toune of Nairn, which was so large that the folk at the one end did not understand the language spoken at the other end." There are no manufactories in Nairn, but a considerable fishery trade is carried on. The harbour some years ago was the main source of income, but the railway, which is in close proximity to the town, has militated against harbour profits for the past few years. The streets, as a rule, are somewhat irregular, which may be ascribed to the antiquity of the town. In the building and laying out of new residences, however, modern improvements have been introduced. The inhabitants are well provided with educational institutions. The revenue of the town in 1881 was £13,216, and in 1858, £3096, which shows an increase of £10,120. The parliamentary constituency in 1881 was 387, and in 1858, 116. In this county, as well as in Morayshire, there are a few small towns or villages, chief among which is Auldearn, which has a population of 363. The total valuation of the Highland Railway Company in Nairnshire was £1932 in 1881-82.

The scenery, especially in the lower districts of Moray, presents much natural beauty. There is a good proportion of the total area under woods, which are beautifully dotted over the county. The large extent of arable land is well sheltered generally, but there are also some wide stretches of barren moor. The main range of hills extends nearly the whole length of the county, from east to west, running nearly parallel with the Moray Firth, and at an average distance of from 6 to 12 miles inland from it. This range is not of great height, but is sufficient to form a substantial division between the upland and the lowland districts. The lower part is known as the "Laigh of Moray," and is said to be one of the finest agricultural districts in the kingdom. It is about 30 miles in length, and from 5 to 12 miles in breadth. It is extremely well sheltered from southern, south-eastern, and south-western tempests by the Dallas hills, Black hills, Mannoch hills, Brown muir, Heldon hill, Tulloch hill, Burgie hill, and Knock of Alves, which chiefly comprise the range just mentioned. The highest peak in Morayshire is Carnan-Lion, which is 1797 feet. The upper or Strathspey division of the county differs in contour and also in soil from the "Laigh of Moray." It is of course much higher, and is more irregular in surface, but in many parts the soil is almost as fertile as in the lower districts. Along the valley of the Spey, there are some charming little straths, displaying much natural beauty. The county ranks well with sportsmen. There are no deer forests in it, but the moors carry heavy stocks of grouse and hares; while in the lower grounds good bags are to be got of snipe, partridges, and pheasants, and also rabbits and hares, but especially the former. On some small hills in the "Laigh of Moray " there are a few grouse to be seen occasionally. The chief home of these birds in the county is the chain of hills which I have already described. Of the two natural divisions of the county, the maritime one stands highest, from an agricultural point of view. The land here is of an undulating character in the east, and is almost a dead level in the middle and in the west. In the more inland districts the elevation of the land is steep, with a south or south-east exposure. There is very little level land on the south side of the Mannoch hills. The geological features in Morayshire are of great variety. There are four sandstone ridges, viz., Covesea Hill, 288 feet in height; Quarrywood Hill, 280 feet; Pluscarden Hill, 776 feet; and the hills of Dallas, 850 feet. The hills further south consist of granite, mica, slate, quartz, gneiss, schist, &c. In the "Laigh of Moray," sandstone of the old red formation, limestone and yellow or grey sandstone prevail, while gneiss and granite abound principally in the upper districts.

The finest and most extensive lake in the county is Loch-an-dorb, in the parish of Inverallan, and about 9 miles from the village of Grantown. It is fully 2 miles long and 1 mile broad, and is famous for its trout. In the centre of this beautiful lake are ruins of a stronghold, once in possession of the "Wolf of Badenoch," The Loch-an-dorb trout weigh on an average, from ¼ lb. to ½ lb., and they are of excellent quality. Loch Blair, in the parish of Forres, is 30 acres in extent, and contains good trout, varying from ¼lb. to ¾lb. Loch Lossie, in the parish of Dallas, is a mile long and a quarter of a mile broad. The trout caught in it run from ½ lb. to 6 lbs. Loch-an-Tore is also in the parish of Dallas. Loch-na-bo, in the parish of Urquhart, is one mile long by a quarter of a mile broad, and is celebrated for the beauty of its scenery, and the quality and abundance of its trout, which weigh from ½ lb. to 12 lbs. There are a few other small sheets of water in the county. To the north of Elgin is Loch Spynie, the property of Captain Dunbar Brander. It is not a large sheet of water, but affords good sport to the angler. The more important rivers which flow through the county rise from 40 to 70 miles south of the city of Elgin, and fall into the Moray Firth. The Lossie, which passes through one of the richest and most picturesque parts of the "Laigh of Moray," has its source in Loch Lossie, and runs a serpentine course of about 25 miles, falling into the sea at the village of Lossiemouth. From its source to its mouth it has a very gradual fall. It is an excellent trout fishing river, and contains a few salmon, sea-trout, yellow trout, and "finnochs." Its chief tributaries are the Lochry and Lenoch burns, which are also famous for good trout fishing. The fishing in the Lossie belongs to the Earl of Moray, but has been let on a lease of 100 years to the Dunbars of Pitgaveny. Captain Dunbar is proprietor of part of the salmon fishings at the mouth of the river. The rod season begins on February 11 and ends in October.

The river Findhorn rises between Strahdearn and Stratherrick, and runs a very rapid course of from 60 to 70 miles. Its chief tributaries are the Moy, the Bruach, the Pallan-shoch, the Divie, the Dorbach, and the Muckle Burn. These, as well as the Findhorn itself, are excellent trout streams. Salmon angling during the months of March, May, June, and September is excellent; while in July, August, and September plenty of good trout are got. Skilful anglers can make a good basket of trout during a fine day in the month of July. Without the consent of the proprietors, anglers are strictly prohibited from fishing in any part of the river. Apart from the excellent fishing that is to be had here, the scenery is in itself exceedingly attractive. It has been said, that along the grounds of Darnaway and Altyre, the character of the woodland scenery is the "choicest for the artist's pencil" that could be desired. On the extreme opposite side of the county runs the majestic Spey, which for volume of water and extent of basin drained by it, is the second river in Scotland. It rises about 6 miles from Loch Laggan, flows through Loch Spey, falls into the sea at Garmouth, and is in all about 100 miles long. It runs for over 30 miles through Inverness-shire, and receives on its left bank the Marky and the Calder, and some other smaller streams, and on the right bank the Truim, the Tromie, the Feshie, &c. For a considerable distance, it passes through Moray and Banff shires, while different sections of the river form the line of separation between these two counties. Its course from its source to the sea is very rapid. Its chief tributaries after it enters the county of Moray are the Dulnain, Nethy, Aven, and Fiddoch. The river is open to the public for trout fishing, and good sport is generally obtained. It may be mentioned here that the Spey during the past few centuries has deposited much fine alluvial soil, which I shall subsequently describe. The best salmon fishing is preserved by proprietors, or let to shooting tenants. The weight of the salmon varies from 8 lbs. to 30 lbs., while that of trout is from ¼ lb. to 1lb. The best months for salmon and trout fishing are the same as those on Findhorn. In 1860, the course of the river at its mouth was moved about three-fourths of a mile westward from the old channel, for the purpose of benefiting the salmon fishings and protecting the village of Kingston, on which the current had been encroaching.

The capes and bays in Morayshire are the Spey Bay, Stotfield Point, Covesea Point, Burghead Bay, and the estuary of the Findhorn.

The configuration of Nairnshire, in so far as features of scenery are concerned, is similar to that of Morayshire. The surface of the greater part of the county is a continuation of the long fertile plain known as the "Laigh of Moray," but it is somewhat more undulating in its character. The soil is neither so equal nor so heavy. There is a good deal of wood over the county. The range of hills, which extends through the centre of Nairnshire from east to west, is an extension of that which traverses part of the county of Moray. None of the hills in this range exceed 1600 feet in height. The scenery in the hilly districts is bleak and uninteresting. There are large tracts of sterile heath, moss, and mountain land, which certainly do not present a varied or pleasing aspect. The valley of the Findhorn and the lower parts of the county, however, are exceptionally picturesque. Along the banks of the Findhorn there are large patches of rich alluvial land, which is skilfully cultivated.

The geological features of the county have a striking similarity to those of Morayshire. The prevailing strata are gneiss, old red sandstone, grey sandstone, and quartz rock. The belts of wood which are so profusedly scattered over the county consist of birch, fir, hazel, alder, and ash. Good shooting is usually obtained, hares, partridges, grouse, snipe, and pheasants being abundant. Towards the west of Nairnshire there is much natural beauty to attract the eye of the visitor. One of the most interesting objects of antiquity is Cawdor Castle, which was licensed to be erected by James II. in 1454. It nestles snugly in a thicket of wood, and nothing but its numerous turrets is to be seen until the visitor approaches quite close to it. Its surroundings are exquisitely beautiful. There are several other ancient castellated buildings in the county. In short, Nairnshire has been described as diversified with rich corn fields, fine pleasure grounds, woods and forests, farm houses, mansions, castles, villages, and towns.

The lochs in Nairnshire are neither extensive nor important in their stock of fish. The principal sheets of water are Cran-Loch, Lochlee, and Loch of the Clans. The rivers are, with one or two exceptions, small. The Findhorn, which runs for about 15 miles through the eastern side of the county, I have already described as one of the Morayshire rivers. It may be mentioned that the Findhorn passes through the county of Moray for a distance of 12 miles. The river Nairn rises in the Monadhliadh hills, and after a run of 36 miles, falls into the Moray Firth at the town of Nairn. Its course is devious, and there is much romantic scenery along its banks. It is an excellent spawning-river, and salmon and trout are numerous at certain seasons of the year. Good baskets of trout are generally obtained in the summer months. The Cawdor burn is the chief tributary of the Nairn. It rises among the Cawdor hills, and affords fair sport in trout. All respectable anglers are allowed to fish in the Nairn and its tributaries, on application to the proprietors, chief of whom are Major Rose of Kilravock, Mr Davidson of Cantray and Mr Forbes of Culloden.

As regards communication with the outer world, these two counties are exceptionally well supplied. By sea, as well as by land, the inhabitants have long enjoyed the privilege of access to all parts of the world. The principal shipping harbour is at Lossiemouth, from which a great deal of grain and potatoes is exported, and large quantities of coal imported. There are other harbours of less importance in these counties, of which Burghead and Nairn are the most considerable. Than Morayshire, few counties in the north of Scotland have been intersected to a greater extent by railways since 1850. Nairnshire has also sufficient outlet for the product of farmers and tradesmen. The main lines which traverse Morayshire are those of the Highland and Great North of Scotland Railway Companies, while the only line in Nairnshire is that of the Highland Railway Company. There was at one time railway communication between Kinloss station, on the main line, and Findhorn, but it has been dropped for some years, in consequence of the unimportance of the town and the traffic therefrom. The inhabitants of Burghead have enjoyed the advantage of railway communication since 1862, when a branch of the Highland Railway from Alves station was opened. The line from Elgin to Lossiemouth, 6 miles in length, and opened in 1852, was the first line made north of Aberdeen. The two companies' lines may be said to divide Morayshire into four divisions, the Highland Railway running in a direct line through the centre from east to west, and the Great North from north to south-east through the glen of Rothes, crossing the Spey by a well-constructed viaduct, and on past Craigellachie. From the main line at Craigellachie the Strathspey section of the railway extends to Boat of Garten, a distance of 33¼ miles, where it forms a connection with the Highland line.

The extent of land under woods in both counties is large. In Morayshire there were 45,368 acres in 1871, and 50,130 in 1881, which shows an increase of 4762 acres during the last decade. In 1871 there were 14,349 acres under woods in Nairnshire, and in 1881, 13,241, which shows a decrease of 1108 acres. Last year there were 26 acres under grass lands and fruit trees in Morayshire, one acre used as market gardens for the growth of vegetables, &c, and 93 acres used by nurserymen. In Nairnshire there were 12 acres under grass lands and fruit trees, and 3 acres used by nurserymen.


The following table shows the population of both counties since 1801:—

It will be observed that, excepting a slight decrease in the case of Nairnshire during the decade of 1831-41, the respective populations of these counties have been gradually increasing since the first of the present century, Between 1851 and 1861 there was an increase of 4363 in Morayshire, being more than at any decimal period since 1801, For the past twenty years the increase in both counties has been insignificant, there being a diminution in a great many rural districts since 1871. Burgh populations, as a rule, have been growing much more rapidly than rural ones during the past ten years. In regard to population, Morayshire stands seventeenth in Scotland, which it also did in 1801, and Nairnshire stands thirty-second. In the former county there are nearly 7¼ acres to each inhabitant, while in the latter there are about 11½ acres to each person. In 1881 there were 20,700 males and 23,060 females in Morayshire, while in Nairnshire there were 4975 males and 5479 females. In the former there were 8618 inhabited houses, or one for every five of the population in 1881, and in Nairnshire there were 2077 inhabited houses, or one for every five of the population. According to a register drawn up by the assessor for 1881-82, there are 1617 voters in the county of Moray, 943 in the royal burgh of Elgin, 426 in the royal burgh of Forres ; and in 1858 there were 116 voters in the royal burgh of Nairn, and in 1881, 387. The total number of voters in the county of Nairn in 1858 was 149, and in 1881 it was 293.


In Moray and Nairn shires the climate is variable, but, as a rule, it is dry and warm. The lower half of both counties is nearly as dry as any part of Scotland. The average rainfall during the year is from 25 to 28 inches, and the mean temperature about 48°. The prevailing winds, which blow for about 260 days during the year, come from the west, and from this direction we are accustomed to have the heaviest rainfall. The lowering clouds in their course northwards are arrested by the range of mountains on the south and south-west of the counties, and thus their watery contents seldom reach the seaboard districts of Moray and Nairn. The rainfall in the neighbouring counties of Banff and Inverness is much heavier. In the upper and hilly districts the temperature varies greatly. It is usually much colder than in the maritime divisions. It is an old saying that the people in Morayshire enjoy forty days more summer than any other county in the north of Scotland. It frequently occurs, however, that the farmers in Morayshire have too much sunshine in the absence of moisture. During the months of June, July, and August they would often welcome more rain than it is their lot to have. The long fertile plain, stretching from the Spey to Inverness-shire, has a tendency to drought, and in a dry summer, with scorching sunshine, much damage is done to vegetation. The upper parts are more retentive of moisture than the lower parts, and the loss sustained from drought, except in very dry seasons, is trivial. The climate of these districts is very suitable for the cultivation of oats, while in the lower parts it is more in favour of the cultivation of wheat and barley, which are extensively grown. In Nairnshire the soil is of a somewhat light and sandy character for the growth of wheat, but barley and oats are found to be most profitable. The rigours of winter along the seaboard districts, being greatly softened and modified by the influences of the sea breeze, are scarcely ever felt with intensity. Frosts, in the absence of snow, however, frequently prove damaging to the root crop, when it is not lifted before Christmas. The poignant north and north-easterly winds sweeping over these counties are somewhat severe upon both animal and vegetable life, but generally the climate in Moray and Nairn is healthy. In fact, in the seaboard parts, it is believed to exercise a medicinal effect on the constitutions of weak people. The most unequivocal proof of the remarkable mildness and geniality of the temperature in the "Laigh of Moray" is afforded by the fact that apricots, nectarines, and peaches ripen on walls in the open air. In the upland districts both seedtime and harvest are often late, but in the lower districts harvest usually commences early in the season. Winter wheat is sown in the end of autumn, and spring varieties in the month of February. Barley and oats are sown during the first half of the month of March in the later localities, but not quite so early in the earlier climes. In ordinary years, reaping is the leading operation in the end of August and the first of September. I am obliged to Mr Webster, gardener, Gordon Castle, for the following extract from his notes, taken there for the long period of thirty-one years, the object of observation being intended as an indication of earliness or lateness of the season at the time taken. The apricot trees, from which the notes are set down, are growing against a south wall of brick, and 14 feet high, free and open to all changes of weather, and the dates were the days on which the first full expanded flower was seen. Mr Webster proceeds—"It will be seen from the subjoined statement, that the blossom was open in 1874 seven days earlier than in 1882, and one day earlier than in the year 1869. Mignonette survived the winter in 1874, and continued flowering through the following summer. Lilacs and horse chestnuts in flower 25th April, while hawthorn blossom open 2nd of May; and in the same year apricots were ripe at 22nd July, thus showing that the mild winter and early spring were followed by a warm summer.


In the geological formation of these counties the Lower Silurian predominates. The chief rocks are mica slate, clays, chlorite and gneiss, based upon quartzose rocks, flagstones, and associated with limestone, Granite and gneiss are found to prevail most extensively in the hilly districts and higher sections of the Find-horn. The former is also the characteristic stratum of considerable portions of the parishes of Knockando, Rothes, and Ardclach, while gneiss occupies nearly the whole of Califer Hill. The old red division extends from Buckie in Banffshire, along the plain of Moray, and disappears at the base of Pluscarden hill. At Clune, in Nairnshire, an oval patch of the same formation is observed, as well as other two small portions a little further west —one at Cawdor and another on the borders of Inverness-shire. These are supposed, in fact stated by geologists, to be subnascent patches of a subterraneous continuation of the belt of Old Red Sandstone, which would seem to terminate at the hill- of Pluscarden. This belt is an average width of from three to four miles. The grey or middle division of sandstone occupies Newton, Moor of Alves, Burghead, Hopeman, Lossiemouth, and the lower sections of the Findhorn; in fact, all the coast side from 6 or 8 miles inland, from Lossiemouth to the western extremity of the county of Nairn. The largest of two beds of inferior oolite was discovered in the parish of Duffus, lying in the shape of a lump of fish roe, and surrounded by grey or middle division of sandstone. The only other bed is very much smaller and lies near the village of Lhanbryde. Purbeck beds of wealden have been found at Linksfield, Pitgaveny, Spynie, Waukmill, and Maryhill in Moray. The band of limestone on which Elgin is built is an average width of about two miles, and extends from Boars Head, between Lossiemouth and Garmouth, to near the hills of Dallas. There are several limestone quarries worked pretty successfully on this ridge. Rock is found at Birnie, Relugas, and Craigellachie. Rolled boulders of red porphyritic granite are found strewed numerously over the face of the low country. Lead has been discovered at Lossiemouth, and mining machinery was brought into operation some two or three years ago. In Nairnshire, dark blue limestone has been disclosed, which burns in fire without losing bulk. On the bank of the Spey, near Orton in Morayshire, is an almost vertical red cliff, which changes its colour before rain from red to dark crimson, and in wet weather, blood-like torrents fall into the river. An immense accumulation of sand, which had gathered during a very few hours at a point called Culbin, between the burgh of Nairn and the village of Findhorn, converted a considerable extent of excellent rich fertile land into a vast sterile desert, known as the Culbin Sand Hills. The sands of Culbin, says a writer, are literally a desert of many hundred acres in extent; no plant except the bent grass finds rooting here, from the continued shifting of sand, which by the prevailing west wind is carried to the eastward, but in ordinary states of the weather is intercepted by the river Findhorn and carried out to sea ; forming a bar here, it is taken up by the inshore tidal current running to the westward and carried in that direction, and thrown out on the shore, where the wind forces it to the eastward, thus forming an endless circuit. Culbin sand hills rise to a height of 118 feet above low-water mark. The general height of the beaches above low-water mark is from 14 to 18 feet. It is well known that all the different geological formations or rocks have their characteristic varieties of soil. As might naturally be inferred from the fact, that the geonostic features in these counties are variable in the extreme, the soil is of a very changeable character. To begin with, the character of the soil in Morayshire may be summarily put down in the following terms:—If all the arable grounds in the county were distributed into 63 parts, sandy soil would be found to cover 24 of these, clay 11, loam 27, and reclaimed moss 1. In Nairnshire the soil varies from light fertile loam to heavy mould, and is intersected by patches of sharp gravel and moss. The plain of Morayshire chiefly consists of a light porous soil, intersected with stretches of stiff clay, loam, and rich alluvial deposit. Considerable portions of Duffus and Drainie, two very important agricultural districts, had at one time been submerged by the sea, and in all probability been under it for a lengthened period. Both these parishes, as well as the parish of Alves, to the south-west of them, contain an admixture of rich loam, heavy clay, sand, and fine free loamy soils, with ingredients which never fail to yield superior crops, and which are admirably adapted for the raising of wheat, barley, and potatoes. This division of the great maritime plain has been appropriately named the "Granary of Moray." Duffus and Drainie are low and level throughout. There are other districts in Morayshire which contain fine friable soil. Rich fertile loam prevails in the parish of Kinloss, which is very favourable for arable farming. The northern half of the parish is level, while the southern half rises with easy acclivity until it reaches the heath-clad hills. The average depth of the soil runs from 18 inches to 3 feet, and rests on a subsoil varying from yellow or blue clay to red or white sand. It is most suitable for the production of wheat and barley.

The adjoining parish of Forres has a preponderance of rich loamy soil, although there are patches of clay and gravel. The subsoil is also gravelly. To the west of Forres the soil is generally good, and favourable to the growth of all kinds of cereals, and particularly barley, which may be called the staple crop of the county. The parish of Rafford has great diversity of soil, but is mostly low and fertile. Further south, into the Edinkillie district, loamy soil prevails. Oats and barley are the principal cereals grown. Still further inland, where the land rises gradually, the soil becomes less porous. A clay loam predominates in the parishes of Cromdale and Knockando, which have altogether a different exposure from the lowland districts. They slope gently to the south, and are hemmed in by hills. In the latter district there is a large extent of moss worked into a condition for tillage, while there is also some in the parish of Cromdale. Oats are the most suitable cereal for this part of the county, but barley is also grown pretty extensively. In descending to the Rothes district, we find that the soil changes into a medium fertile loam, varied by patches of gravel and of deep black loam deposited by the river Spey. Near the village of Rothes there is a considerable stretch of "haugh" land of a most kindly nature. On the east side of the Spey the soil is partly of a sharp porous nature, and is most suitable for the cultivation of oats. Over the eastern half of the county of Moray light sandy soil prevails with trifling exceptions. The parishes comprising this division are Speymouth, St Andrews, Lhanbryde, Elgin, Birnie, Dallas, all of which are well adapted for the cultivation of wheat, barley, oats, turnip, and potatoes. The prevailing stratum throughout these districts is Old Red Sandstone, which is of a very solid description. There is also a large extent of adhesive clay in this portion of the county. The Speymouth and Urquhart districts, like those of Duffus, Drainie, &c, are close to the seaside, where considerable quantities of fish offals are applied along with other manures, which prove to be most efficacious in fertilising the soil, and which go far to secure superior crops.

There are still some small areas of waste land throughout these counties, which may probably be brought into cultivation before the close of the present century. During the past twenty-five or thirty years, the land in both Moray and Nairn has been very much fertilised by the judicious application of manures.

The soil in Nairnshire generally is equally sandy, and in some districts even lighter and more spongy than in Morayshire. In the higher districts, in which the prevailing rocks are mica slate, flagstone, and limestone, the soil is open and gravelly. Here oats and barley are the staple cereals. In the lower districts, a free loamy soil, with patches of sand stretching through it, prevails. A stiffish clay, and sometimes a sharp gravelly soil, abound in the western portion, while in the parish of Nairn the soil is very variable. The rental per acre ranges from 18s. to 35s., according to the nature of the land. There is a heavy mould in the south and a light in the north. In Auldearn parish, the soil is light and fertile, and in the parish of Cawdor the land is rich and favourable for the cultivation of oats.

State of Agriculture prior to 1858.

Although the subject proper of this treatise is limited to a period of twenty-five years, it may be interesting to glance briefly at the state of the agriculture of these counties a century ago. This will bring the rapid progress of recent years more forcibly under the reader's view. A hundred years ago, farming in Moray and Nairn was of little moment compared with that of the Lothians and south of Scotland generally. The counties were far behind in everything pertaining to agriculture, and had been so from the era of the Reformation. In the end of the eighteenth century the same kind of cereal and root crops were cultivated as those of the present day, but in much smaller quantities. Except among the poorer tenants, whose cropping was unavoidably restricted to oats, large quantities of flax were raised annually. Oats and barley were reckoned the staple produce. Over the upper districts of each farm about two-tenths were usually in oats, one-tenth in barley, two-tenths in peas, turnip, and potatoes, and three-tenths in grass. In the lower districts about three-tenths of each farm were sown in oats, one-tenth in wheat, one-tenth in barley, two-tenths in turnip, peas, beans, and potatoes, and three-tenths in grass. The following will give an idea of the general course of management on the larger farms:—Oats were sown after barley, grass, or wheat, from the 1st of March to the end of April, at the rate of four-fifths of an English quarter to the acre. The yield was on an average about four quarters of grain to the acre, and from each quarter about 9 stones of meal avoirdupois weight were obtained. In the higher districts, where the climate was severe, and the soil stiff and wet, varieties of small black hairy oats were cultivated, but were of comparatively little value, and were given up soon after the beginning of the present century. When intended for the growth of barley, the land received three successive ploughings, and manure if this crop had not been preceded by a green crop to which manure had been applied the previous year. Manure was invariably applied to wheat, which was, as a rule, sown on clean or fallow land. Three bushels seeded an acre, and from 5 to 6 quarters were the quantities returned. The seed was generally steeped before being sown. For the cultivation of turnips the ground was well pulverised by three or four ploughings and harrowings. A liberal supply of dung was given, and the seed was sown in drills as now. The turnips were mostly consumed by cows and young cattle, there being no systematic plan of cattle feeding. Potatoes, which had been introduced to this country about 1728, were not cultivated in these counties till about the middle of last century. They did not even then become a general farm crop.

At the corresponding period of last century, potatoes were said to have been cultivated sparingly. They were scarcely ever used as food for cattle. The seeds were planted 3 or 4 feet distant from each other, and the medium yield per acre was about 800 stones avoirdupois weight. The kidney-shaped potato was most cultivated for the table. The sowing of grass seeds was not introduced so early as the potato. The land in the higher districts was not capable of producing clover in great abundance until lime or marl was applied to it, and turnip and sown grass have been about the same time in existence over these counties. Clover was sown in quantities varying from 12 lbs. to 16 lbs. per acre, along with barley and oats, but seldom with wheat, and was generally consumed in pasture. On the larger and better farms the plough was kept going with a pair of horses or oxen and a man, but on the smaller and more insignificant holdings as many as six and eight oxen were used in each plough. Cattle and horses were then of a very indifferent description. The best cows were worth only from £5 to £12 each. Except on farms adjoining hill pasture, few sheep were to be seen in the country. Neither wool nor mutton were of much importance. Away up among the hills, where whole glens of arable land are hemmed in with heath-clad hills, the blackfaced breed was pretty extensively reared, and each animal was valued at 12s. or 14s.

The leases granted to tenants were as a rule of nineteen years' duration. The rents were paid partly in money and partly in grain. The office houses were generally built by the tenant, who received compensation for them at his exit to the extent of two years' rents. They were as a rule substantially built of stone and lime, and thatched with straw or other material.

It would appear that the tillers of the soil were not then sensible of the great advantages to be derived from having their fields enclosed. About 1782, Moray and Nairn, like other northern counties, were, it may be said, open from end to end. It is stated that after the various crops were ingathered, the whole range of country was put under the head of "Common Good," and all the respective flocks of sheep and herds of cattle depastured together wherever they might choose to wander. Comparatively little food was stored for winter use, and cattle were generally in very thin and weak condition by the return of the grazing season.

Till near the opening of the present century, farming implements were of the rudest and most primitive description. The old clumsy timber plough was in vogue among the poorer classes till the end of the eighteenth century. It was made wholly of timber, except the coulter and sock, exclusive of which the average price of the plough was 4s. or 5s. The better class of farmers had ploughs of the newest design, which were neatly made, and cost about 2 guineas. Carts were of the most approved construction, costing from £8 to £10 each, and were generally drawn by one horse, but in exceptional cases by two. The "flail" was used on every holding, as threshing mills were not then plentiful.

About the middle of last century, the average price of grain was something like 12s, per boll, and the yearly wages of ploughmen ranged from £2 to £3. The most lucrative branches of farming were the raising of corn and the rearing of cattle. For the latter, however, there was little outlet when they were fattened. Swine were seldom reared by the farmer, although pork was greatly in demand in this part of the country.

Among the inhabitants of these counties, during the greater part of the eighteenth century, kail, nettle, and mugwort were favourite dishes when stirred up amongst oatmeal soup. Oatmeal, bran, and sowans, when slightly fermented together, formed a regular article of food in the north of Scotland. The traditional Christmas luxury was sour cakes with aromatic seeds, which it was considered formed one of the most palatable and delicate repasts that could be got.

Up to the first of the present century, pasturage was more extensively pursued than tillage. Shortly after the advent of the nineteenth century, however, a much more enterprising system of farming was adopted, and the agriculture of these counties was rapidly brought into a state which compared favourably with that of the Lothians. It is but just to say that Moray and Nairn, in so far as the cultivation of the soil is concerned, have been keeping pace with, if not surpassing, the improvement in the most active of the other parts of Scotland. Sixty years ago the soil received more attention than the breeding and rearing of live stock. The cattle then reared in this part of the country were of an inferior description, but the horses in possession of the better class of north country farmers were equalled by few even in the south of Scotland. They were strong horses, of good blood and superior action. The common breed of cattle was black, with long horns and of great variety of size. One of the most successful of the present race of farmers in Morayshire informs us that, some fifty or sixty years ago, the ordinary commercial cattle when rising three years of age, sold at from £3, 10s. to £4, 10s., and on one occasion three or four fat animals brought about £12 each, which was considered a very remarkable price. The same animals would now bring at least £27 each.

After 1830, much attention was given to the breeding and rearing of cattle, and few counties have achieved greater success in this direction. Shorthorns were early introduced, bulls of this valuable breed having been mated very freely with cows of the native race. At first the shorthorn crosses were unpopular, but by the force of merit they soon rose in favour. Polled Aberdeenshire cattle were to be met with in some parishes. Farmers' societies, viz., the Morayshire Farmers' Club and Nairnshire Farmers' Society, have long been in existence in these counties, and unquestionably gave great encouragement to agricultural advancement, especially to the improvement of live stock. Sheep were plentiful among the hills, but not in the lowlands. Blackfaces were the principal breed. Swine were driven about and fattened along with cattle. Artificial manures, in the form of crushed bones, were applied to the land in quantities varying from 15 to 20 bushels per imperial acre when preparing for a crop of turnip. Many people adopted a more economical mode of manuring, by dibbling and putting the bones into small holes before the seed was inserted. It is asserted, that equally as heavy crops of roots were raised by this as if thrice the quantity of manure had been sown broadcast. The land under wheat, barley, oats, and potatoes increased every year very materially up to a few years ago. Lime, as a fertiliser, was liberally used, from 120 to 140 bushels having been given to each acre of light land, and about 200 bushels to the imperial acre of strong soil. Generally speaking, the five-shift rotation was pursued on the majority of holdings, while some farmers worked on the six-shift course. Draining was very extensively executed, and in most cases with stones and brushwood. The average rental of land varied from £1, 4s. to £2 per Scotch acre. The best haugh land was rented at from £1, 12s. to £2, 8s. per imperial acre.

The rate of wages for farm servants, who as a rule lived in the farmers' kitchens, was for men, from £9 to £10 per annum, and for women from £4 to £5, exclusive of board. Male labourers engaged by the day got from 9s. to 9s. 6d. per week, and females from 3s. to 4s. per week. Threshing mills have been used on the larger farms for a number of years, The harrows were made of wood, with iron teeth, and in fact on some holdings these have not been long out of use. As the century advanced, agriculture became more important, and claimed greater attention than it received prior to 1828. In 1842 the area of Moray included 536,600 acres; of these 120,000 were under cultivation, and the remainder under wood, or pasturage, or heath.

The Progress of the past Twenty-Five Years.

The area of land reclaimed since 1857 has not been great. This, however, is not assignable to any lack of spirit or enterprise on the part of either landlord or tenants, but to the fact that the active agriculture which existed between 1830 and 1850 had left little room for improvement. The reclamation of land during the previous twenty years had been very extensive. The many intersected and unseemly patches of waste land which were to be met with in these counties some thirty or forty years ago, have mostly all been brought under the plough, while in inland districts farmers have been extending their holdings very considerably. The most noteworthy improvements executed since 1857 have been in the way of squaring up farms, forming drains, fencing, renovating farm steadings, and building farmers' dwelling houses and servants' cottages. Perhaps few counties are better supplied with good farm buildings than Moray and Nairn. In this way the improvement has been very considerable both to landlord and tenant. In cases where farm steadings were erected, the tenant had generally to provide material for building; and in many instances he also built the steading, the proprietor compensating him by what is called payment for "meliorations " at the expiry of his lease. It is now more frequently the case, however, that the landlord erects the houses and the tenant pays 5 per cent. of interest along with his rent.

Some twenty-five or thirty years ago, farms were very irregularly laid off and cropped, but they are now much more systematically and skilfully wrought.

That the improvement in fertilising the soil within the past twenty-five years has been great, is an unquestionable fact. The principal agencies for the development of the farming resources in this way have been the judicious and liberal application of artificial manure, the systematic and enlightened management of farms, and the wisdom and care exercised by the tenants in maintaining the richness of the soil. There has been a very marked improvement in cattle in these counties within the past twenty-five years. Careful and judicious crossing on the part of the breeder has greatly increased the symmetry and beauty as well as the size and usefulness of stock. Notwithstanding the serious losses sustained in some districts in 1876, in consequence of the cattle disease, the breeding and rearing of cattle has been kept going successfully since then, and the effects of the disease are now almost invisible. However, many people maintain that the disease laid the foundation of the present agricultural depression in this part of the country. Sheep farming cannot be said to hold a more important position in Morayshire, than it did thirty years ago ; but in parts of Nairnshire where the soil is of less value, sheep farming is receiving more attention. The price of wool for the past few years has been rather fluctuating, and on the whole the tendency has been downward.

The rapid development of the resources of: the soil has naturally led to a corresponding advancement in the improvement of agricultural implements. These counties have made marked progress in this respect. Ploughs have been remodelled, chain or link harrows have been introduced, and are now pretty extensively used. Double-furrow ploughs have been successfully wrought on several of the larger farms in both counties, while steam cultivation has been pursued to some extent.

In order to show the position which these counties occupy among other counties in Scotland, in respect of the agricultural improvements executed during the past twenty-five years, I subjoin in tabular form a comparison of the extent of cultivated area and the number of cattle and sheep between the years of 1854 and 1880, thus:—

The decrease in the first column, in whatever county it occurs, is accounted for by the inclusion in 1880 of tracts under permanent pasture, which in 1854 were classed as heath or mountain land.

Coming within the period of twenty-five years, over which the report is meant to extend, we find it necessary to explain that the Highland Society, in drawing up the agricultural returns in 1857, excluded all holdings under £10 of rent, and therefore we are unable to indicate the accurate increase in the acreage under rotation of crop since that year. The following table, however, shows the increase since 1870:—

The percentage of arable area in Morayshire under cultivation in 1870 was 29.5, and in 1880, 30.9. In 1870 the percentage in Nairnshire was 17.8, and in 1880, 19.2. Since 1870, it will be observed, the arable area under cultivation has been increasing at the rate of about 434 acres per year in Morayshire, and about 174 acres in Nairnshire.

The following tables show the valuation of both counties since 1866-67, according to the valuation roll:—

The many and extensive agricultural improvements effected in Moray and Nairn during the past twenty-five years would be insufficiently indicated in a generalised report. We therefore deem it necessary to give, as succinctly as possible, the following notes which we collected in a recent pedestrian tour throughout both counties:—.

Details of Improvements and the different Systems of Farming.


Commencing our tour at the most eastern point of Morayshire, we find ourselves in the parish of Speymouth, which has an area of fully 6352 acres. Its rental in 1866-67 was £6204, 3s., and in 1882-83, £6581, 15s. The villages of Garmouth and Kingston occupy the north-eastern corner of the parish, while the larger proportion of it is under cultivation. There is a good deal of wood and natural pasture. The land along the bank of the Spey, from Graigellachie to the sea, consists of rich alluvium and sandy loam, resting on a subsoil of gravel. The rent runs from 10s. to £2, 10s., and is an average of about 26s. per acre. The farm of Newton is pleasantly situated about a mile from Garmouth and near the river Spey. Its extent is 250 acres, of which 20 acres consist of rough pasture. The rental in 1866-67 was £185, 12s., and now it is £250. Under the regulations of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon's estate, the tenant of Newton has adopted the best system of farm management. He believes in the six-shift rotation, viz., oats and wheat, turnip, barley, and three years' grass. On land adapted for the rearing of both cattle and sheep, no other course could be more profitable. The six shift keeps down expenses both in labour and manure, and gives power to keep a good stock in summer, specially of sheep, which have paid all along in this part of the country. The seven-course shift would shorten farmers of turnips, which never fail to yield well on this farm and locality. As a rule, good crops of all kinds are obtained in this district. In preparing land for turnip, the tenant ploughs his stubbles in autumn from 8 to 10 inches deep, thus giving it full benefit of the winter frosts ; and if the month of February is suitable, he cross ploughs it, and is always careful to avoid working it in a wet or raw state. He finds it most beneficial to let the land, after cleaning, rest for a fortnight before drilling it, which insures a braird, and suits better in every way than opening up the soil in too fresh condition. The tenant disapproves of light manures, and says "they exhaust both the land and the pocket." He principally uses bone manure. For the potato crop the land is prepared similarly to that for turnips, and from 12 to 16 loads of manure, direct from the farm-yard, per acre, is spread in the bottom of the drills. The tenant does not approve of sowing artificial manure in the bottom of the drills for potatoes. Cattle on Newton are chiefly crosses with a few polled animals. About half the wintering stock is bred on the farm, and the other half bought in. Not later than September, 20 two-year-old stots and queys are housed and fed on turnips and straw, and when within two months of selling off some grain and cake are given, increasing the latter until the animals are disposed of. At the new year the queys weigh about 5 cwt., and the stots are usually sold off in April, when they weigh from 6½ to 7 cwt. From 7 to 8 scores of Cheviot ewes, bought in in the fall of the year, are kept, and a crop of lambs taken, which are sold off at weaning time, when the ewes are fattened, and as soon as they are disposed of another lot of ewes is bought in. This pays remarkably well. Besides supplying the sheep of the farm with turnips, Mr Annand lets from 12 to 15 acres every year at from £6 to £7, 10s. per acre. About 80 acres of land are allotted to a pair of horses, One-sixth of the farm is annually under turnips, of which two-thirds is Swedish, two-sixths under grain crops, the half of which is barley, and the other half wheat and oats. In a good season wheat is the most renumerative cereal.

In moving westwards there is much fine scenery to attract the eye. Clumps of wood are to be seen on every hand. Emerging out of the Speymouth parish, we enter into that of Urquhart, where there is also a considerable breadth of good land, but it is lightish in some parts. The climate is early and warm. The average rental varies from 17s. to 19s. per acre. Near to the village of Urquhart lies the well-managed farm of Innesmill, tenanted by Mr John Brown. The area of this farm is 105 acres, and is wholy arable. There is a deal of light land on it. Contrary to the general rule in this district, Mr Brown works the six-shift course, and finds it to be the most profitable system. The average yield of all kinds of grain generally is about 4½ quarters per acre, but it is usually over 5 quarters on Mr Brown's farm. In preparing the land for turnips, Mr Brown ploughs heavy in autumn, ploughs again in April, and grubs if the land requires it. He does not approve of much grubbing. About 15 loads of farm-yard manure are given per acre, along with 10 bushels crushed bones and 3 cwt. light manure. The general rate of manuring in the district is not so high. Mr Brown grows only a small extent of potatoes, and after preparing the land the same as for turnips, gives about 10 loads of dung and 3 cwt. of light manure per acre. Since the present tenant entered the farm in 1865, he has drained and limed a good deal, and enhanced the value of the farm considerably. He keeps cross bred cows and a shorthorn bull, breeds about two-thirds of his stock, buys in the other portion in the end of the year, and ties up his feeding cattle about the end of September. He sells his queys when six quarters old, each weighing 5 cwt. The stots are kept until they are two years old, when they generally weigh about 6½ cwt. Turnips and straw constitute the principal aliment, and a little corn and cake are allowed to the feeding stock before sending them away. Mr Brown finds that home-bred animals thrive best. There are very few flocks of sheep kept in this district. Generally, as on this farm, a pair of horses work about 60 acres. The rate of wages has advanced fully 30 per cent. on Innesmill. There is a rise of rent since 1857 in some cases, but not universally, throughout the parish. Mr Brown suggests at least one change in the present system of farming, which he thinks would be beneficial, and that is freedom of cropping. He grows two-thirds of the turnip break in swedes, and one-third in yellow turnips. Barley is generally the best paying crop, bat it will not pay to sow barley crops in rapid succession, because they soften the soil too much. The extent of this parish is about 13,660 acres, and the valuation of it was £7843, 19s. in 1866-67, the increase since then being £8052, 14s.

In the districts to the east of Elgin, the Earl of Fife is the principal proprietor. His residence is Innes House, in the parish of Urquhart, which nestles beautifully among trees, and is surrounded by fine pleasure grounds. The extent of Lord Fife's property here is 41,759 acres 1 rood 30 poles, of which 20,577 acres 1 rood 36 poles are arable, 12,081 acres 1 rood 7 poles pasture, 7729 acres 1 rood 24 poles wood, and 1371 acres 33 poles consisting of rivers, burns, canals, ditches, peat mosses, hillocks of bent, sea beach, roads, &c. In 1866-67 the valuation was £18,383, 12s., and now £19,758, 3s. There is great variety of soil throughout the estate. It consists of rich clay loam, sandy loam, light sandy soil, moorish gravelly soil, and pan. The climate is, as we have previously stated, favourable in the highest degree. Farms range from 20 to 400 acres in extent, and crofts from 2 to 12 acres in size. On most farms, steadings and farm houses are very good, many having been erected within the past twenty-five years. All of the recently erected houses, except those of a few small crofts, have been built of stones and lime, and are slated. The buildings on these crofts in not a few cases consist of what is called "andinharlie," or, properly speaking, stones, clay, and straw thatch. This sort of buildings lasts for generations when the roofs are kept tight, and are usually very comfortable.

Servants' cottages have increased greatly since 1850, and especially in recent years. The roads over the estate are good. During the past twenty-five years a considerable breadth of land has been reclaimed by trenching and ploughing with horses and steam.

The value of the land before reclamation was about 1s., and now it is worth from 7s. to 15s. per acre.

The newly reclaimed land has already yielded profit, and is expected to be still more valuable in the course of a few years. Extensive improvements have been effected in the way of draining, squaring up farms, and planting, mostly fir and larch, the latter being generally used where woods have been cut down.

The duration of lease is nineteen years, with entry at Whitsunday term, to which we shall subsequently allude. Tenants get every encouragement possible in executing improvements on their farms. Allowances of money are agreed upon at entry, which, according to the regulations, has to be refunded at the end of the lease.

The extremes in the rental of this property are 7s. and £3 per acre. Rents are all paid in money, but some thirty years ago, grain payments were quite common. The five-shift is the prevailing rotation, not only on these estates, but over the counties generally.

The sort of cattle kept by the farmers on Lord Fife's property is chiefly cross bred, with a sprinkling of pure bred shorthorn and polled animals. Much more attention is bestowed on the breeding and rearing of stock than twenty-five years ago, and during the interval between 1857 and 1882 a striking improvement had been effected in the various breeds.

Cattle feeding is now one of the chief, if indeed, not literally the principal source of the farmer's income. The greater proportion of the commercial cattle on the estate are bought in, and these along with home-bred stock are partly fed in half-roofed courts, and partly in stalls. Feeding generally commences about the 1st of October. There are very few holdings on this estate that could come under the head of sheep farms, but large flocks of crosses between Leicester tups and Cheviot ewes are bought in and fattened during winter, These, as well as a few blackfaced sheep, are kept steadily on farms attached to hillsides, where the pasture consists of heather and natural grasses. The great body of crofters make a living by working on their own crofts, and occasionally by day labour to neighbouring farmers. They hold yearly leases as a rule, but in some cases, when circumstances permit, longer leases are held.

Resuming our westward journey, we reach the farm of Upper Meft, which is 230 acres, all arable, in extent; rented at £291, 15s.; is well laid off; well supplied with convenient houses, and tenanted by Mr Cruickshank, who has improved the condition of his farm materially since 1857. He works it on the five-course shift, and the average yield of wheat is from 3 to 4 quarters, barley 5 quarters, and oats from 4 to 5 quarters.

The beautifully situated and well-managed farm of View field tenanted by Mr Anderson, extends to 282 acres,—279 acres arable and 3 acres in pasture. It is rented at £305, or from 21s. to 22s. per acre. The soil consists of loam, black soil, and moss, and is pretty well sheltered. The estate regulations insist on the five-course shift being pursued, but Mr Anderson would prefer to work at least part of his farm under the six-shift system, which he is convinced would be instrumental in preventing "finger-and-toe" and "canker," which frequently destroy the turnip crop.

The average yield of wheat ranges from 3 to 5 quarters, and weighs 64 lbs.,—in 1880 it weighed 66 lbs.; Norfolk barley, which he finds to yield better than chevalier, from 4 quarters to 5½ quarters, weighs about 56 lbs.; and oats from 5 to 6 quarters per acre, weighing 42½ lbs. and in exceptional cases 44 lbs. per bushel. Mr Anderson has no anxiety to hold down the manure bill. He gives land intended for cereal crops about 20 loads of dung in the autumn, and that which does not receive this gets from 1 cwt. to 2½ cwt. of artificial manure. He tried an experiment in the manuring of land for Swedish turnips a few years ago, which clearly showed that over much stimulants are as bad as too little. He gave from 2 cwt. up to 10 cwt. of the best turnip manure to the acre, and found that the turnips grown with 5 cwt. were equally as good, both in quantity and quality, as those grown with 10 cwt. of the same manure. Potatoes receive similar treatment to turnips. From 10 to 12 cwt. are planted per acre, and a yield of from 5 to 7 tons is generally obtained. Mr Anderson fenced all the farm when he entered, as well as drained a great deal. His farm steading and dwelling house are very good. He feeds from 20 to 30 cross bred cattle every year, and breeds from 10 to 12. He finds it most profitable not to follow any strict rule, but to dispose of or purchase cattle in any condition when a good bargain can be made. The tenant ties up his feeding stock about the 1st of October, and gives them a full supply of turnips and straw, with from 3 lbs. to 4 lbs. of cake each per day when within three weeks of selling off. The cake is generally given them in the middle of the day. Rock salt is laid in the stalls before the cattle. The usual weight of the animals when fat is from 5 to 8 cwt. Sheep are not kept steadily on this farm, but the grass is let in the end of the year along with as many turnips as can be spared. From £7 to £10 is obtained for an acre of Swedish turnips. There is an excellent stock of horses on View field, being all Clydesdales, and several of them pedigreed and prize winners. They have improved greatly within the past twenty-five years. From 70 to 80 acres are allotted to a pair. The tenant breeds at least one foal every year. Very little hay is grown on this farm, only what supplies it with seed for next crop. The average yield is about 130 stones (22 lbs. per stone) per acre. Wheat pays best in a good year.

Almost in the immediate neighbourhood of the farm of View-field is the model farm of Stonewells. Mr Petrie, the tenant, has been a very exemplary agriculturist for many years, and is very careful and judicious in his system of farming. His farm is one of the largest and best managed in the parish. Its extent is 204 arable acres, for which the tenant pays £196, 3s. annual rental. The land is similar to that on the farm of Viewfield. Mr Petrie applies chiefly light manures to his turnips. Potatoes are grown after grass that has been top-dressed heavily with farm-yard manure before being ploughed, and about 6 cwt. of potato manure is given when the potatoes are being planted. Mr Petrie entered his farm in 1864, and has since then executed considerable improvements in building, draining, fencing, &c, at a cost of £400. The proprietor pays £200 at the expiry of the lease, for improvements made to that extent on buildings. The cattle consist of shorthorns and crosses, about the half of which are bought in every year, and the others bred on the farm. They are taken in off the grass on the 1st of October, and are usually ready for the April market of the following year, and being two years old weigh about 7 cwt. They are partly fed loose in courts, and partly tied up. It would be an advantage if courts were more closely covered over for feeding cattle. Turnips and straw constitute the feeding aliment. With a few exceptions, the cows are allowed to suckle their calves. These calves get sliced turnips in the autumn along with from ½lb. to 1lb. of oilcake each per day, which is continued throughout the winter and spring, until they are put to grass.

The cost of labour since Mr Petrie became tenant of this farm has increased at least 35 per cent, In accordance with the regulation of the estate, the tenant works under the five-shift course, but he thinks that the land would be much improved to lie in grass for a few years. He sows about half the turnip land in swedes, and would sow even more of this variety, but some parts of the farm are not well adapted for its production. Barley and wheat are the principal cereal crop. Mr Petrie does not cultivate oats extensively. Barley as a rule is the most remunerative crop, but sometimes in a dry season barley and oats are burnt up, when wheat, which sends its roots deeper into the ground, withstands the effects of drought. The quantities of seed sown per acre runs thus,—wheat 4 bushels, barley 3¼ bushels, and oats 4 bushels. The yield and weight are various, but are about the same as those on Mr Anderson's farm. Hay is always a light crop on this farm. Mr Petrie puts nearly all his court manure upon grass lands, applying it in the autumn after the first grass has been eaten, or early in the following spring. The land to be sown with barley is twice "break furrowed" and then ploughed. Mr Petrie is a very liberal farmer, as may be inferred from the fact that he expends on an average £200 per year for manures, besides the outlay incurred for cake, which is no inconsiderable amount. He has a good stock of strong agricultural horses.

A few miles north-west of Stonewells is the farm of Inch-broom. The present tenant, Mr Buxton, has improved its value considerably since he entered it some ten or twelve years ago.

It is now in excellent condition, both as regards the cultivation of the land and the convenience and superiority of the farm houses. The holding extends to 420 acres arable, and about 650 acres of links and rough pasture. The present rental of the arable land is £500, and of pasture £80, being about £180 in advance of the rent paid in 1857. The average rental in the lower part of the parish is about 25s. per acre. The soil consists chiefly of sand and clayey loam. On this farm the seven-course shift is adopted, viz., two grasses, oats and barley, potatoes, wheat, turnip, and barley sown with grass seeds. Wheat yields on an average 4 quarters per acre, and weighs 62 lbs.; barley 4½ quarters, and weighs from 56 lbs. to 57 lbs. per bushel; oats 5 quarters, and weighs on an average 43 lbs. per bushel. Barley is grown partly after grass and turnip, and when on two years' old grass a little artificial or farm-yard manure is applied immediately before the seed is sown, in order to insure a good braird. Mr Ruxton, until a few years ago, gave a good deal of artificial manure to all the cereal crops, but he finds it of more value to the following crops, when given to potatoes or turnips instead of cereals. Oats are generally grown after lea, wheat, and potatoes. A good proportion of the land for the corn crops is turned by a steam plough in autumn, and is allowed to lie in this condition till spring, when it is ploughed with a common plough and grubbed and harrowed. Besides dividing the farm-yard manure between the turnips and potatoes, Mr Ruxton gives them artificial manure to the extent of 8 cwt. per acre. He habitually grows wheat after potatoes, because he finds that they prepare the land better for it than turnips do. His shifts contain about 60 acres in each. From 40 to 50 acres of one shift is grown in potatoes, and the rest of it in beans and sometimes turnips. About 12 cwt. of potato seed is planted in an acre, from which about 5 tons are yielded. The yield of turnips average from 15 to 20 tons per acre. The farm has been wholly fenced, partly drained, and houses built, at the tenant's expense, to the extent of £700, during the past ten years. Cross cattle, from shorthorn bull and cross cow, constitute Mr Buxton's herd. From 20 to 25 calves are bred every year, in addition to which the tenant buys in as many off the grass as completes his feeding stock, which is usually about 40 two-year-olds. The cattle are mostly fed on turnips and straw. Last year, when potatoes were cheap, they were fed partly on them. To feeding animals from 3 lbs. to 4 lbs. of cake per day is allowed, and about 2 lbs. to each yearling. The money expended in cake usually exceeds £100 per year. Two-year-old cattle when fat weigh about 7 cwt. each. Mr Ruxton lets his pasture for sheep during winter. His horses are of the superior Clydesdale breed, and have improved immensely in recent years. Mr Ruxton has very much improved his farm steading since 1870. It is now one of the best and most convenient buildings in the parish, and is always well kept. The interior arrangements are most complete, and ample accommodation is afforded for his stock. In the breeding of cattle Mr Ruxton is careful and judicious. Only one calf is allowed to each cow until she is over three years of age, when she fosters two every year. The average number of cattle on the farm during the year is about 100. The ordinary stock of horses consist of six pairs, and a few foals are annually reared.

The parish of St Andrews extends to a total area of 9359.544 acres, and is rich both as regards the fertility of the soil and loveliness of the scenery. There is a great quantity of wood growing in it, and it contains some of the finest farms in the county. Its valuation in 1866-67 was £6471, 16s., as compared with £7810, 17s. now. The farm of Pitairlie lies in the lower end of the district, and is 234 acres arable, and from 15 to 20 acres of river banks and pasture in extent. The rental of this farm is 30s. per acre, but the average in the district would vary from 20s. to 25s. The soil is principally clay, and black and sandy loam. Mr Petrie adopts the five-course shift. The average return of barley in ordinary years is about 5 quarters per acre, weighing from 55 lbs. to 56 lbs. per bushel. Wheat yields 4½ quarters per acre, and weighs fully 62 lbs.; and oats about 5 quarters, weighing from 43 lbs. to 44 lbs. Barley and wheat are grown mostly after turnips, being invariably manured, while oats are raised from lea without any stimulants.

In the upper division of this parish there is great irregularity in the size of farms, but taking them all in all they are smaller than in the lower half. In passing through this district we find that there is great variety of soil, it being poor, cold, and wet in some spots, resting on the hard "pan," which is so objectionable but so common in the blackballs district. The climate is uncongenial. The five-course shift prevails. The various crops yield on an average thus,—turnips from 10 to. 15 tons per acre, potatoes 3 to 5 tons, barley about 4 quarters, oats 5 quarters. The latter is most extensively grown. Wheat is not cultivated to any great extent. All the farm-yard manure is bestowed on the root crop, along with about 60s. worth of artificial manure per acre.

In the same parish, and in the vicinity of Elgin, are the farms of Tyockside and Stonecrosshill,—150 arable acres and 17 awes pasture in extent. Mr Calder, the tenant, is a very careful and liberal farmer, and has improved the value of his holding greatly since 1857. Land for turnips is allowed from 20 to 25 loads of farm-yard dung and from .4 to 5 cwt. artificial manure per acre. Land for potatoes is prepared in the same manner, and 20 loads of farm-yard manure is allowed per acre, along with from 3 to 4 cwts. of artificial stimulants. Crops yield variously,—barley and oats from 4 to 5 quarters per acre, the former weighing from 57 to 59 lbs. and the latter from 45 to 47 lbs. per bushel. The soil is light, and climate mild and early. The rotation is the five-shift system. The proprietor erected an excellent farm house a few years ago. As to the breed of cattle, Mr Calder has no particular class, but breeds from 16 to 20 annually, and sells them off when one year old, with the exception of a few which he feeds during winter. The feeding material consists of turnips, straw, draff, bruised corn, and oilcake. When fat the cattle usually weigh from 5 to 7 cwt. Being in proximity to Elgin, Mr Calder keeps a dairy, and supplies a good proportion of the inhabitants of the burgh with milk.

Passing onwards, the next parish we enter is that of Drainie, which is 7254.206 acres in extent. Its valuation in 1866-67 was £10,424, 5s., which when contrasted with that of 1882-83, shows an increase of £2013, 4s. The greater part of this parish lies low, and the soil is of a mixed and variable character. Generally, however, it is a lightish loam, pretty sandy in some parts, and dark loam in others. There are considerable knolls of wood to be seen at different points. The largest landed proprietor in Drainie is Sir William Gordon Cumming, Bart. The estate of Captain James Brander Dunbar Brander of Pitgaveny, which is about 3000 acres in extent, of which there are about 2000 acres arable land, 800 acres rabbit links, and about 200 acres wood. According to the valuation roll, the land property was worth £1952, 3s. in 1866-67, and in 1882-83, £2155, 13s. About two-thirds of the arable land on this estate consists of fine black loam like garden soil, and about one-third light sandy loam. The largest farm on the estate is Coulard-bank, which is 498 acres in extent, including links, and the smallest 60 acres. In all, there are eleven farms on the property, besides 100 acres let in parks at Lossiemouth. A good many steadings and houses have been built during the past twenty-five or thirty years. At present there are only the houses of one farm out of repair, and arrangements are being made for their renovation. Feucing is done by the tenant, and is chiefly composed of wire. The loch of Spynie has been drained since 1855, adding some 40 or 50 acres to the arable land, which before were an unsightly marsh, and worth very little. The land being light, is worth only about 10s. per acre now. It has not paid the interest of the money expended in reclamation, but it greatly benefits the drainage of the neighbouring farms. Captain Dunbar says "he has neither lost nor gained much by the drainage of the loch." Over this property nineteen years lease holds sway. Rents are payable at Candlemas or Lammas. In building steadings the tenants drive stones and provide material.

About six acres of land near the manse of Drainie is rented at £12, being the best land on the property. Captain Dunbar's best farm contains 255 arable acres, which is let at £450, or about £1, 15s. per acre. Rents have not risen much since 1857, but there is a yearly increase taken from the feu-duties at Branderburgh. The five-course shift is pursued on most farms, but so long as a tenant farms liberally the proprietor would not restrict him to a specific rotation. There are no regular sheep farms on the estate, but about 200 sheep are kept on Coulardbank. Sheep are wintered on several farms, for which the flockmasters pay from 2d. to 3d. per head per week. No wood has been planted since 1855. Captain Dunbar farms from 70 to 80 acres himself, for which he keeps one pair of horses.

The farms of Sunbank and Wester Oakenhead, which are farmed as one, is the third largest holding on the Pitgaveny estate. The extent of arable land is 250 acres and about 100 pasture. The rental is £411, 3s. The five-course shift is pursued, and a crop of potatoes is taken after one year's grass, being manured heavily with dung and artificial manure. The nature of the soil and climate is favourable. The yield of grain has been falling off in recent years, which the late Mr Rae attributed to bad seasons and overfeeding of land with artificial manure. In preparing and manuring land for turnips and potatoes, court manure is distributed as far as possible, and then artificial stimulants are applied. Great improvements have taken place since 1857 in the way of draining and fencing, mostly done by the late tenant.

The second largest farm on Captain Dunbar's property is Kinneddar, tenanted by Mr Adam. It is about 500 acres in extent, and is all arable. The total rental is £450. The prevailing soil on the farm is a lightish black loam of a porous nature, and resting on a gravelly subsoil. Mr Adam works about 230 acres on the seven-course system, viz., two grasses, and oats, potatoes, barley, turnips, and barley again. The remainder is worked under the five-course shift, viz., two grasses, oats or sometimes potatoes, turnips, and barley. The average yield of the various crops is about 4 quarters barley, 5 quarters oats, 6 tons potatoes, and from 16 to 20 tons of turnips per acre. Land for the root crop is tilled in the ordinary way, and about 20 loads of dung and 4 cwts. of bone meal given per acre. Potatoes are manured the same as turnips, but the dung is ploughed down in the autumn, and artificial stimulants applied when the potatoes are being planted. Being near Lossiemouth, where extensive fisheries are carried on, Mr Adam gives his land intended for turnips a liberal top-dressing with fish garbage, which is ploughed down in autumn, and not put into drills as is usually the case. The whole of the farm steading, which was destroyed by fire fully a year ago, has been rebuilt —the proprietor allowing about half the cost, and valuation for the other half at the end of the lease. Mr Adam drained the greater proportion of his farm since 1855. The proprietor afforded pipes for three large open ditches, which have been filled in, and about 30 acres have been reclaimed, for which the tenant gets nothing. The tenant has also erected a steam threshing mill, for which he gets valuation at expiry of lease. The farm stock of cattle consists of crosses and shorthorns, of which about 20 are annually bred and about 40 fed. The feeding stock are tied up in October, and sold off about April or May. Turnips and straw constitute the staple article of food, and about the 1st of February from 2 to 3 lbs. of linseed cake or bruised oats and rye are allowed each animal per day. The average weight when fat is about 6½ cwt. As long as good Irish calves can be got from £5 to £6 when about six months old, Mr Adam thinks it more profitable to buy in than to breed cattle. He keeps a number of cows, and supplies the inhabitants of Lossiemouth and Branderburgh with milk. About 300 half-bred lambs are bought in in August, and kept on grass and stubble fields till December, when they are netted on turnips, and get ½ lb. of linseed cake or corn from the 1st of March down to the 1st of May, when they are sold off. Mr Adam has a good deal of the Clydesdale blood in his stud, and the horses are strong, heavy, and well adapted for to work at the rate of 80 acres per pair. Married servant men are most plentiful where cottages can be got, but these are far too few. Wages have advanced about 30 per cent. since 1857. Two-thirds of the shift are devoted to the growth of swedes and one-third to yellow turnips. On one-fifth of the land under the five-shift system Mr Adam grows oats and one-fifth barley, and in the seven-course shift he grows one-seventh oats and two-sevenths barley. He does not grow wheat, but cultivates a little rye occasionally.

Another large and similarly conducted farm is Muirtown, tenanted by Mr John Calder. It is all arable, extends to 270 acres, and is rented at £331. The whole of the farm is wrought under the five-course shift. The average yield of barley is about 5 quarters per acre, weighing from 56 to 58 lbs. per bushel, and oats 6 quarters per acre, weighing from 42 to 44 lbs. per bushel. Wheat, which is not extensively grown on this farm, weighs from 63 to 64 lbs. per bushel. The soil is mostly of a sandy nature, and well adapted for the cultivation of roots, especially potatoes. In cleaning the land for the root crop, Mr Calder "break furrows" twice as early in the autumn as possible, after which it receives a thorough grubbing and harrowing. At the time of sowing turnips, from 20 to 22 loads of dung, along with from 5 to 6 cwt. of artificial manure, is given per acre. The potatoes, which are grown generally after lea, get from 7 to 8 cwt. of artificial manure. The houses on this farm are all in good repair. Mr Calder breeds a few calves every year, but only keeps cows sufficient to supply milk for the farm. He feeds from 40 to 50 cattle every winter on cut turnips and straw, and sells them in February and March, when they as a rule weigh from 5 to 7 cwt. He also feeds a few sheep every year, and kills them in the months of March and April. They are fed on turnips and straw. As regards horses, there are few farms in the county on which a better stock can be seen. Mr Calder is a careful breeder, and an excellent judge. His horses work from 70 to 80 acres a pair. Wages are about the same now as those current in 1860, but they were considerably higher a few years ago. From 54 to 55 acres are sown with turnips, one half swedes and the other half yellow; about 55 acres barley, and 45 acres oats. Barley is the most renumerative crop.

Perhaps on no other holding in the parish of Drainie has the condition and value of land been more enhanced than on the farm of Ardivot during the past twelve years. Since the present tenant, Mr George Tod, entered the farm some eleven years ago, he has increased its value considerably over £100. Besides this, Mr Tod has since erected over 15 miles of fencing, and built a farm steading and cottages to the amount of £1400. The same number of acres on the farm return double the quantity of grain and roots yielded prior to 1870. Mr Tod says, "to get land kept up to a high state of cultivation, is a matter of no little importance, and can only be done by compensation, and rooting out those tenants who abuse land, and they are not few. It will not pay any farmer to reduce his land too much, and in order to avoid this let phosphates be applied instead of bones." Mr Tod has reclaimed about 130 acres of the Loch of Spynie, which he partially drained, the proprietor supplying the tiles. It was formerly worth about 5s. per acre, and now it has risen to 25s. or 30s. per acre. He also drained nearly every field on the farm, and filled up a big ditch some 130 chains in length, the proprietor supplying the tiles. The farm is stocked with very superior cattle and horses, and Mr Tod never fails to adopt the proper means for their improvement. We now find ourselves in the parish of Duffus, which is extremely level and low-lying. Its total area is 9865.270 acres; in 1866-67 its valuation was £12,005, 12s., and in 1882-83, £13,999, 17s. This district has been immensely improved during the past twenty-five years, which has to be ascribed as much to the enthusiasm of the tenantry as to the enterprise of the landlords. Sir Archibald Dunbar, Barb., of Northfield, is the principal proprietor. His estate in round numbers is 2400 acres in extent, of which about 100 acres are under wood. The rental in 1855 was £2995, 9s. 5½d., and in 1880, £3421, 18s. 6cl. The land on this estate is chiefly alluvial, but about 250 acres consist of adhesive clay. The size of farms is generally about 130 acres, excepting a few small crofts near the village of Duffus, Some of these crofts have been held by the same families for three generations without lease. Almost all the houses on the estate have been slated and repaired since 1855, and many others built from the foundation. Fenciug, which is chiefly wire, has been erected by the tenants, for which they get value before leaving. About 80 acres of the Loch of Spynie have been reclaimed since it was drained, and the land is of an alluvial description, resting on a sandy bottom. The proprietor puts up most of the farm buildings; but in some cases tenants erect cottages, and are paid for them at the end of the lease. Most of the improvements are done by the proprietor. On this estate 50s. per acre is the highest rental, 10s. the lowest, and about 31s, the average. Rents are collected in June and December. None are paid in kind. The increase in the rental of this parish is greatly swallowed up by the increase of public burdens. The taxes and public burdens in 1855 amounted to £556, 18s. 1½d., and in 1880 to £655, 19s. 6d., showing an increase of £99, 1s. 4½d. The estate is well provided with accommodation for the servants. Cottages have recently been built on five farms. Servants are mostly single. Tenants are not strictly bound down to any shift, but the six-shift is followed on all the farms except one. Cattle are principally cross bred, bought in autumn and sold soon after Christmas. There are about a dozen crofts held mostly by tradesmen. About 30 acres have been planted with fir trees since 1855. Sir Archibald Dunbar holds about 50 acres of laud in his own hands, adjoining Duffus House, and it is sown out in permanent pasture for sheep.

One of Sir Archibald Dunbar's largest farms is Waterton, occupied by Mr James Young, and is 200 arable acres in extent. In 1866-67 the rental was £300, and now it is £347. Mr Young is a very exemplary farmer, being well acquainted with his profession, both practically and scientifically. He manages other three farms along with his own, viz., Burnside, 280 acres; Covesea, fully 300 acres; and Waterymains, adjoining the farm of Waterton, 230 arable acres. About 140 acres of Burnside are sheep pasture, which is hemmed in on one side by the sea. Both Waterymains and Covesea are on the Gordons-town estate, and consist chiefly of light arenaceous soil. The soil on the farms of Waterton and Waterymains is mostly adhesive clay, interspersed with rich alluvial and loam. In the district generally the rental averages from 30s. to 35s. per acre. Confining ourselves to the farm of Waterton, we may state that Mr Young pursues the six-shift course, viz., two crops oats and wheat, turnips, barley, and two years grass. Wheat, barley, and oats yield pretty equally, from 4 to 5½ quarters each per acre. A great proportion of the Duffus estate is notable for its crops of hay. On Waterton the average return per acre varies from 200 to 250 stones. Mr Young prepares for the root crop in the ordinary way, and manures land for turnips in spring with a mixture of superphosphates and crushed bones to the extent of from 6 to 8 cwt. per acre. Autumn wheat gets a liberal supply of farmyard manure, and barley is heavily top-dressed with dung in the spring. This produces a fine crop of grass and hay. Potatoes are grown only to the extent required for farm use, and are treated similarly to turnips. Very heavy crops of turnips are grown in this district. The condition of the farm of Waterton, as well as that of neighbouring holdings, has been vastly improved since 1857. Draining, fencing, and squaring up the fields have since then entailed great labour and outlay. A. little previous to 1850 and in 1868, the whole of the land on the farm of Waterton was dressed with lime and an admixture of earth at the rate of from 7 to 8 quarters per acre, The farm steading is in excellent repair, having been built about fifteen years ago, and is large and convenient. There are two commodious cattle courts, which are always in use, and which are highly advantageous to the feeding of cattle. The landlord afforded money for the building, and the tenant paid 5 per cent. along with his rent. The cattle are all purchased, and only as many cows are kept as supply milk for home use. Most of the feeding cattle are fed in open courts. They are put on to turnips and straw at the end of September, and some of them are sold off between Martinmas and the New Year, at a weight of from 6 to 7 cwt. each. The further advanced stock in feedng are usually finished off with a little cake. Mr Young has long been an eminent breeder of horses. A pair of horses work only from 50 to 60 acres on this tenacious soil. On Sir Archibald's property farm servants are mostly married. Through the courtesy of Mr Young and the accuracy of his cash book, we are enabled to give a statement as to the total cost of labour at various periods since 1857, on the farm of Waterton. It is as follows:—in 1857, about £75; 1860, £78; 1865, £82 ; 1870 £95; 1875, £142, 10s.: 1880, £129. 15s.; and in 1881, £126. Casual labour for hoe and harvest for the past twenty-five years varied from £30 to £40 a year. This indicates pretty clearly the rise of wages since 1857. Mr Young erected farm servants' cottages, for which he is paid by proprietor at the end of the lease. The fallowing of land was abandoned some thirty years ago in this district, when turnips became an established article of food for cattle. Swedes are grown to the extent of two-thirds of the shift, yellow turnips one-third ; wheat about 33 acres, barley 33 acres, and oats 33 acres. Wheat, as a rule, pays better than barley or oats. Mr Young, contrary to most of the other farmers in the district, thrashes the bulk of his cereals with a horse mill in wet weather, when the land is unworkable, which keep down expenses that are necessarily involved when portable mills are brought into requisition. The majority of farmers in Duffus thrash out their barley in the fall of the year with portable mills, especially on the drier soils.

A little further westwards are the farms of Surradale, 184 acres in extent, and £500 rental, and Orchardfield, 127 acres, and £240 rental, occupied by Mr James Adam. The farm of Thornhill, 195 acres, and £210, 10s. rental, in the parish of Elgin, was also in possession of Mr Adam. The former two are wrought as one farm, and all the three consist of purely arable land. The Duffus rental runs from 25s. to 35s. and the Thornhill district from 5s. to 25s. per acre. The farms in Duffus contain clay and black loamy soil, and on Thornhill the soil is light and sandy. The Surradale farm yields about 6 quarters of cereals per acre, and Thornhill barely 4 quarters, The quality of the grain on both farms is invariably superior, and weighs over the standard weight. In preparing land for the turnip crop Mr Adam ploughs it in autumn to the depth of 10 inches, and cross ploughs it in spring, and cleans out the weeds thoroughly. He gives it about 25 loads of farm-yard manure and 6 cwt. artificial manure per acre in spring. The land for potatoes is prepared in the same way, and receives about 6 cwt. of manure, consisting of bones, superphosphates, and sulphate of ammonia, per acre, which is sown broadcast on the drills immediately before planting. Great improvements have been accomplished on Surradale by the proprietor during the past twenty-five years. Mr Adam built an addition to the dwelling-house in Thornhill, repaired the farm steading, improved roads and water-courses, and fenced the farm partly with stone dykes and wire entirely at his own expense. Very few cattle are bred on either of these farms, but about 300 are fed every winter. These are chiefly polled and cross cattle, which are housed for feeding about October, fed on turnips and straw with 2 lbs. cake and 2 lbs. oats per day, and are sold off as they fatten. The farm horses have improved greatly since 1857, and a pair works at the rate of 80 acres. The farm servants are mostly single, and get from £20 to £25 yearly, with the usual allowances. Wages have risen fully 25 per cent. during the past twenty years. There is sufficient cottage accommodation at Surradale, but not at Thornhill. Rents have advanced 30 to 35 per cent. since 1857, and are at present too high.

The parish of Spynie stretches almost due east and west between the parishes of Drainie, Duffus, and Elgin, and has an area of 5971.512 acres. About a mile from the east end of the parish it is intersected by a high ridge of moor, covered with fir wood on the north side, and a flourishing oak wood on the south. On either side of this ridge, as in the eastern half of the parish, there is a deal of fine soil, varying from the richest loam and clay to the most sterile sand. The value and general configuration of the parish have been very much improved since 1850. There has been no noteworthy change in the system of farming, but the soil has been greatly enriched by skilful management. The principal landed proprietor in this parish is Lord Fife, and generally the five-course shift is the system of rotation adopted. The farm of Myreside is one of the largest and best managed farms in the parish, and our notes with reference to it will suffice for giving an indication of the system pursued on the north-east side of the parish of Elgin, as well as for the parish of Spynie. Mr Russell, the tenant, is one of the most successful farmers in Morayshire. His knowledge of the chemistry of agriculture affords him a special prerogative in his profession, which, unfortunately, few agriculturists can boast of. In nourishing exhausted land he has-been very successful, and his farm is now raised to a high state of fertility. Its total extent is 360 acres, of which 5 acres are rough pasture. The average rental of the district is from 25s. to 26s. per acre. The soil on this farm ranges from almost pure sand to good loam. The climate is dry and warm. Mr Russell farms under the five-shift rotation, viz., two years grass, white crop, turnips and barley sown out with grass seed; potatoes are substituted for part of the turnip break, or part of the white crop after lea, according to the soil. Irrespective of exceptional years, the average yield of crops on Myreside is, barley 5 quarters per acre, weighing about 56 lbs. per bushel; oats from 4 to 5 quarters, weighing about 43 lbs. per bushel; and rye from 3 to 3½ quarters per acre, weighing about 60 lbs. per bushel. The return of barley in 1881 did not exceed 3 quarters per acre, and was exceptionally light. Mr Russell has not grown wheat for four or five years, the average yield having fallen to 3 quarters on the best land on the farm. Turnips (yellow) yield about 15 tons, and swedes about 18 tons per acre. Potatoes return on an average 5 tons per acre. The land is ploughed with a strong furrow in autumn, allowed to lie under the action of frost in this condition until spring, when it is cleaned in good time, and left to consolidate and gather moisture for some time before drilling. About 18 loads of dung are given per acre along with from 4 to 6 cwt. of artificial manure, which is composed of dissolved bones and superphosphates. To light land, when farm-yard manure runs short, Mr Russell gives 5 cwt. of crushed bones to an acre. From 8 to 10 acres of potatoes are grown every year. They are sometimes laid down with stable manure alone, sometimes with sulphate of ammonia and potash, and occasionally with bones. The latter is not considered good for potatoes. Since 1855,, about 80 acres of land have been improved, 50 acres of which were drained lately at the tenant's expense. The proprietor paid a proportion of the expenses of draining some 15 or 20 acres. Several miles of dyke, new dwelling-house, and an addition to farm steading have been built by the proprietor, for which 5 per cent. interest is payable by the tenant, who supplied building materials. Eight or ten calves are bred yearly, and from 20 to 30 head of three-year-old cattle fed during the winter. They are partly tied up, and partly fed in half-covered courts. The first consignment of fat stock is usually turned out about Christmas, weighing fully 5 cwt. each.. Cattle feeding in folds are sometimes kept on yellow turnips for three weeks, then Swedish, with a little corn and cake, until about April, when they weigh from 6½ to 7 cwt. Some years there is more profit in buying in than breeding. Mr Russell bought about 100 half-bred lambs and wintered them up to a. few years ago; but although they left a little profit, he has relinquished sheep feeding, and now sells his spare roots. His horses are all good, and work at the rate of 80 acres a pair. Under the heading of labour, we give Mr Russell's statement as to the increase in the rate of wages. Since 1857 rents have risen about 20 per cent. Mr Russell grows about one-third of his turnip land in swedes, two-thirds in yellow turnips, one-fifth barley, and one-fifth oats, Rye is grown on 10 or 15 acres of the poorest soil.

The parish of Elgin is inland, contains 19,258.329 acres, and is very irregular in its shape. Its valuation in 1866-67 was. £10,238, 9s., and now it is £11,351, 4s. The nature of the soil is extremely variable, and the climate is generally dry and early. Elgin is situated in the eastern corner of the parish, is 71½ miles from Aberdeen, 178 from Edinburgh; latitude 57°' 39' N., longitude 3° 22' W. To the south-west of the parish, there is much of the soil fertile loam, and the scenery is magnificent. Five miles south-west of Elgin are the lichenclad ruins of Pluscarden Abbey, which was founded by Alexander II., and belonged to the Cistercian order of monks. It may be said that this parish is nearly all under cultivation. The most extensive proprietor is Lord Fife. The properties of the Earl of Moray, Lord Seafield, and the Hon. James Ogilvie Grant of Mayne, all meet in the parish. Having already indicated pretty fully the customs and general management of farms on the Fife estates, we shall proceed to the western district, which is the property of the Earl of Moray, where there are many extensive and skilfully wrought holdings. We will not stop at this stage to describe the Earl of Moray's estate, but will do so when we reach a more central point. Here we are in a beautifully cultivated valley along the western side of the river Lossie, and shall explain the courses of husbandry pursued. The fine and carefully managed farm of Linkwood, in the neighbourhood of Elgin, has an area of 486 acres, is rented at £500, and occupied by Mr Eric Sutherland.

Wester Manbeen is the largest farm in the district, if not indeed in the parish, and is held by Mr James E. Colvin. Its extent is 540 arable acres, and is rented at about 28s. 6d. per acre. This, however, is above the average rental of the district, which runs from 20s. to 25s, per acre. The soil is mostly sandy loam, and being almost on a level with the river Lossie, is inclined to be cold and damp. Though the climate is naturally warm, vegetation is generally a week later than in the neighbouring parish of Alves. The greater part of the farm is worked under a six-course shift, but a part of the best land is laboured in the five-shift rotation. Under the latter system a crop of hay, which yields about 130 stones per acre, is taken, and the grass is depastured the second year. After three-year old grass, which occurs in the six-shift course, about 15 acres of potatoes are raised. The tenant finds it most profitable to grow turnips after potatoes, which saves an amount of labour in cleaning the land. A crop of barley is then taken, which is sown along with grass seeds. Wheat yields on an average 4 quarters, and weighs 62 lbs. ; barley 4½ quarters, and weighs 55 lbs.; and oats 5 quarters, and weighs 43 lbs. A quantity of tares or vetches is grown every year, and given to cattle and horses in harvest. In the district generally, as well as on this farm, laud when dirty is break furrowed as soon as the foregoing crop is secured in the autumn, and is left in this condition during the winter. This keeps weeds near the surface, and therefore facilitates the cleaning of the ground in spring. Mr Colvin approves of sowing his manure broadcast, as it lies nearer the root of the plants than when sown in the drill. A proportion of the farm-yard manure is given to land for wheat in the autumn. About 70 acres of land for turnips receives from 18 to 20 loads of dung, and before drilling a mixture of manure of ½ cwt. Peruvian guano, 3 cwt. dissolved bones, 1 cwt. superphosphates, and 1½ cwt. bone meal,—in all 7 cwt. is sown per acre broadcast. Fifteen acres of light outlying land never gets dung, but a mixture of artificial manure given instead, consisting of 1 cwt. kainit, 4 cwt. dissolved bones, 2 cwt. bone meal, and 1½ cwt. superphosphates. A covering of farm-yard manure is spread over lea intended for a potato crop in the autumn, and it is then ploughed light. Besides dung, a mixture of 1 cwt. muriate of potash and 2 cwt. dissolved bones is given per acre before planting. The steading of the farm is perhaps second to none in the county, both in respect of size and grandeur, and was designed by Mr William Brown, factor for the Earl of Moray. Its covers fully an acre of ground, and is built in a most useful and convenient form. It has extensive accommodation, is well apportioned, and was built a few years ago by the proprietor. The tenant provided the building material. At his own expense he erected upwards of three miles of substantial wire fencing. From 30 to 40 cross cattle are reared every year, and 100 fed. Those reared on the farm are sold off when 20 months old. They usually weigh about 6½ cwt. each. Turnips and straw form the staple diet until within a few months of the time for disposing, when they receive an allowance of corn and cake. The horses on the farm are strong and good, and about 90 acres are allotted to a pair. Servants are mostly married, cottages being abundant. The ordinary wages for farm servants range from £16 to £30, with 2 loads potatoes, 6 bolls meal, and a supply of milk and coals. They have increased fully 35 per cent., and rents about 15 per cent. since 1857. Under the present circumstances, rents are too high. The acreage under the respective crops are swedes 50, yellow turnips 45, barley 100, and wheat 50. Barley is the most remunerative cereal. Mr Colvin also occupies the farm of Burn of Rothes, which is 240 arable acres, and has attached to it from 8000 to 10,000 acres of hill pasture. It carries a breeding flock of Cheviot ewes, generally numbering about 1800, and also a flock of the blackfaced breed. A Leicester tup is allowed to mix with the latter about the 15th November, and with the former about 20th November. The Cheviot wether lambs are disposed of at the Inverness sheep fair, and the greyfaced lambs are sold off later in the season.

The farm of Easter Manbeen, occupied by Mr Scott, has a total area of 200 acres, and is all arable. The soil on it is mostly light, and both the five and six shifts are adopted.

Another hour's walk, and we reach the parish of Birnie, which stretches along the foot of the subordinate chain of primitive mountain land which divides the upper half of the county from the "Laigh of Moray." It is 6828.267 acres in extent, had a total rental of £1964, 2s. in 1866-67, and is now £2913, 3s. The real rent of the parish in 1791 was £375 sterling, and in 1835 £1200. A considerable breadth of the extent of the parish consists of hill and moorland, but there are also extensive tracts of highly cultivated soil. The principal object of interest in this parish is the church, which lies near the centre of it, and which is extremely old. No data can be found to indicate when it was built, but it is said to be the original seat of the Bishopric of Moray. The strata or underlying rocks in the parish of Birnie consist of gneiss and Old Tied Sandstone. The soil varies from light gravel, through the richest alluvium to retentive clay, and moss in the upper districts. There is such a depth of sandy matter intervening between the strata and the soil, that the rocks do not influence it to any great extent. The principal farm we have yet reached is that of Shankhouse, tenanted by Mr Alexander Grant, and which extends to about 130 acres arable, and 50 acres natural pasture. Mr Grant manages another important holding. The rental per acre in this parish averages from 7s. 6d. to 35s. per acre. The five-course shift is pursued, and crops yield fairly well in good seasons. The land is cleaned in the spring for turnips, and manured in the drills with 20 loads of dung and from 4 to 6 cwt. of artificial manure. For potatoes the land is dunged and ploughed down early in winter, and from 3 to 5 cwt. of potato manure is also added with the seed. Mr Grant drained a considerable extent, subsoiled and fenced a great deal, and the proprietor built all the necessary buildings, and charged 5 per cent. interest, exclusive of the cartage of building material. The steading and farm houses are now in excellent repair. Few cattle are reared. From 25 to 30 cattle are fed in byres and courts. They are tied up in September, when feeding begins with soft varieties of turnips, accompanied by a little bruised oats, then yellow turnips, followed by swedes. Mr Grant allows from 70 to 90 lbs. of turnips to each animal per day, with 1 lb. cake and corn. As they fatten, their supply of turnips is curtailed to 50 lbs. or thereby per day, and artificial stuffs increased to a corresponding extent. In years such as last year, when potatoes are cheap, cattle are fed partly on them. Mr Grant buys in from 70 to 100 cast ewes in the end of the year, to eat up the remainder of the grass, and he feeds them off with turnips and corn. The farm horses are generally good and active. They as well as cattle have greatly improved within the last twenty-five years. Servants' wages had advanced between 1855 and 1878 by about 70 per cent., but have since then decreased about 15 or 20 per cent. Rents rose from 25 to 40 per cent. up to 1878, on an average. They are too high on the majority of farms.

The farm of Shogle extends to 158 acres arable and 40 pasture, is rented at £121, 7s., and is situated near the centre of the parish of Birnie. The soil on this farm and the surrounding districts varies from good sharp soil to cold damp land, in some cases much in want of draining. The average rental per acre is about 16s. Under the five-shift rotation, which is prevalent in the district, oats yield from 4 to 6 quarters per acre, weighing from 41 to 43 lbs. per bushel; barley 5 to 6 quarters, weighing from 53 to 56 lbs.; rye from 3 to 4 quarters, weighing from 58 to 60 lbs.; turnips from 15 to 20 tons per acre, and potatoes from 4 to 5 tons. About 20 loads of dung with 3 cwt. bone dust, 3 cwt. superphosphates, and 1½ cwt. "challenge" manure, is the customary allowance in the shape of manure for turnips. For potatoes, the dung is ploughed down in autumn, and from 4 to 5 cwt. of potato manure is added when planting. The proprietor built a nice commodious steading, and the tenant—Mr Cruickshank—reclaimed about 10 acres of land during the past twenty-five years.

A little further inland is the farm of Blairnhall, which contains 117 acres arable and 100 acres pasture, and is tenanted by Mr Grant, a very careful farmer. The soil is dry, and would not pay the labour if wrought in the five course-shift. Sometimes Mr Grant leaves it in grass for three, four, and five years, then takes a crop of turnips off the worst land, which is succeeded by a crop of barley or rye sown with grass seeds. In medium soil Mr Grant ploughs early, grubs well in spring before sowing, which he usually begins about the 1st of May, taking a crop of barley, then turnips, which is followed by barley again sown with grass seeds. His system on the good land is somewhat different. He takes first a crop of oats, then barley, giving about 3 cwt. manure per acre, which is followed by turnips, and with another crop of barley runs it into grass. Oats yield from 3½ to 5 quarters per acre, weighing from 42 to 45 lbs. per bushel; barley from 4 to 5 quarters, weighing from 54 to 58 lbs. per bushel. Mr Grant gives about 20 loads of clung per acre to land for turnips, along with a mixture of crushed bones, bone dust, and superphosphate, to the amount of 6 cwt. For potatoes he gives dung and about 4 cwt. potato manure per acre. He keeps a flock of Cheviot ewes and a Leicester tup.

In resuming our tour westward, we enter the parish of Alves, which is one of the most notable in the county for its agricultural industry. There are several landed proprietors in this parish, but the most extensive are the Earl of Moray and Lord Fife. The extent of Alves is 9424.686 acres, and in 1866-67 rented £7811, 13s, and in 1882-83, £9084, 18s. It is for a considerable distance washed by the sea on the north side, and. the nature of the soil is a free deep productive loam, intersected by pendicles of moss and sand. The farm of Inchstelly, tenanted by Mr Leitch, gives strong evidence of the skilful way in which farming is carried on in the parish. Inchstelly contains 270 arable acres, and is rented at about 35s. per acre. The soil consists of sandy loam, and the climate is favourable. The five and six course shifts are pursued. Barley is the most profitable cereal, and yields on an average from 4 to 5 quarters per acre, weighing about 56 lbs., and oats from about 6 quarters, weighing about 42 lbs. Not much wheat is grown, but the average weight of it is about 62 lbs. Mr Leitch ploughs land for turnips deep in autumn, and lets it lie in this state till spring, when he cross ploughs, harrows, and grubs it, and harrows it again before sowing. Mr Leitch gives the land about 10 cwt. of bone dust and phosphates per acre, but no farm-yard manure, which is put on the ground after the turnips are lifted, for the following crop of barley. He has always a good crop of turnips. Potatoes are grown in quantities sufficient to meet home requirements, and they are manured in the same way as turnips, except that they are allowed a little farm-yard manure. The tenant has trenched and reclaimed some 80 acres of hill land, and carted away thousands of loads of stones from it. He breeds all his feeding stock of cattle except a very few. They are tied up in early autumn when from 18 to 20 months old, and if worth £18 a head, then he has no difficulty in adding at the rate of £1 a head per month to their value until they are properly fed. They get tares to begin with, when they are newly put in for feeding, then early turnips and straw, with 1 lb. cake each and a little meal. Heifers weigh from 5 to 6 cwt., and stots from 6 to 7½ cwt. when kept to Whitsunday. Mr Leitch thinks farmers should breed more cattle than they do. Each cow fosters two calves. His horses are strong useful animals, about the best in the county, and were bred by himself. He has always a few entire horses, from which he is careful to select the best animals for breeding purposes. Horses have improved greatly during the past twenty-five years, but there is still need for improvement. From 80 to 90 acres are allotted to a pair. Wages have advanced nearly a half since 1855. Cottages are abundant on the Earl of Moray's estate. The rental of this farm has risen £95 since 1850. The general rise throughout the parish would run from 15 to 20 per cent. Mr Leitch grows about 53 acres of turnips, of which two-thirds are Swedish and the rest yellow and early turnips; about 53 acres of barley, 53 acres of oats, from 8 to 10 acres of tares, and from 10 to 15 acres of hay occasionally, which yields from 120 to 150 stones (22 lbs. per stone) per acre.

The estate of Ardgye, the property of Mr Robert Mackessack, covers about 4000 acres, of which about 3000 are arable, 400 under wood, and the rest links. Mr Mackessack is one of the most liberal landlords in the country, which is evidenced by the fact, that when he came into possession of the estate he bought up all the buildings belonging to the tenantry, and has since erected all the necessary buildings without charging interest. As a matter of course, he obtains a slight increase of rent after erecting houses and fences. The soil consists of a black and light sandy loam, and is very friable and productive. The farms on the estate range in size from 10 to 400 acres, and are all well provided with houses. These are, with a few exceptions, built of stone and lime, and roofed with slates. Most of them have been erected during the past twenty-five years. Nearly all the farms on the property have also been fenced and subdivided with wire within that period. There have also been a good many miles of stone dykes built, as well as a considerable stretch of hedging planted since 1857. Roads in the parish of Alves are at present uniformly good, and are carefully kept. Partly by the agency of steam and horse ploughs, the proprietor has during the last three years reclaimed about 300 acres of land, which in its former state was worth only about 1s. per acre, and will soon be worth 20s. per acre. The cost of reclamation is estimated at from £3 to £5 per acre. Mr Mackessack has expended a great deal, and in fact expends a large sum annually, in draining, for which he charges nothing from the tenants. The average rental over the estate is about 30s., and the extremes 40s. and 20s. per acre. The rents are collected at Candlemas and Whitsunday. Servants are in the majority married, which is mainly due to the good supply of cottage accommodation. Generally speaking, the five-shift rotation is the one adopted, but there is no specific stipulation in the lease whereby tenants could be prohibited from deviating from this course. The regulations merely state that the tenant shall be entitled to labour the arable land of the farm during the currency of the lease as he may consider proper, as long as he goes by the rules of good husbandry, providing that he cleans the land well and labours it under the five-shift system during the last three years of his lease. There are a good many tenants on the estate who hold their farms on leases of fifteen years, but nineteen years is the prevailing duration. Cross bred cattle, from shorthorn bull and polled cows, are the predominating breed of cattle, which along with a number of bought-in stock are fed on turnips and straw, which is supplemented with about 3 lbs. of cake per head per day. The only sheep farm on the estate is that of Rosevalley, occupied by the proprietor, on which about 1000 half-bred lambs, bought in the month of August, are fed. The usual allowance of extraneous feeding material is about 1 lb. of cake per head per day, There are only a few small crofts on the estate, and are held mostly by tradesmen on short leases. During the past fifteen years about 400 acres of partly Scotch fir and larch wood have been planted, which are making rapid progress. Mr Mackessack well knows the exigencies of tenants by being a large farmer himself, as well as a proprietor. He farms from 1500 to 1600 acres of land, and is presently preparing three farms, with buildings, fencing, and drainage, to be ready for letting next season.

Mr Walter Adam, tenant of the farm of Sweethillock, Alves, is also a successful and very enterprising farmer. He farms extensively both in this county and in Banffshire. The farm of Sweethillock extends to 190 acres, of which 3 acres are pasture and the rest arable. It is rented at £180. He works under the six-shift rotation, taking two successive white crops on good land. Wheat used to yield about 5 quarters per acre, but in recent years only 3 quarters ; barley about 5 quarters, and weighs about 56 lbs. per bushel. Oats are grown on the worst land, and yield from 4 to 5 quarters per acre. For turnips Mr Adam ploughs in autumn, again in winter, and a third time if the season be good. He gives the land 16 cubic yards of dung, along with 5 cwt. of bone dust and 1½ cwt. superphosphate manure per acre. He grows only about two acres of potatoes, which are similarly treated to turnips. The tenant built a dwelling-house and an excellent steading, as well as stone dykes, without any assistance from the proprietor. He has improved the farm immensely since 1857. Few cattle are bred, but a good many are fattened, and weigh from 5 to 6 cwt, when sold. Sheep are bought in in the end of the year to eat up the grass, and are fed off on corn and cake. Mr Adam has an excellent stud of horses, but he says there is great need for good stallions to travel the county. His horses work at the rate of 70 acres a pair. Servants' wages have about doubled since 1855. Cottages are scarce, and proprietors should provide these for tenants. Rents have advanced about one-fifth over the county generally, since 1850. The system of farming has changed greatly in this district. With efficient drainage, liberal manuring and liming, the land will now raise double the quantity of grain that it would have done twenty-five years ago.

In the western side of the parish is situated the extensive and excellent farms of Earnside and East Grange, which are occupied by Mr James Mackessack, and which combined make a total of 730 acres of arable land, and are rented at nearly £1000 a year. East Grange is in the parish of Kinloss, but is very convenient to work along with the other farm. The western side of the parish of Alves contains much fine soil, and the rental runs from £1 to £2 per acre. These farms consist chiefly of black loam, and are wrought under the five-shift rotation.

All kinds of crops yield a little above the standard, and more particularly in weight. Land for turnips is ploughed down and prepared in the ordinary way, and from 20 to 25 tons of dung and from 6 to 10 cwts. of artificial manure, chiefly composed of bone meal, superphosphates, with a little Peruvian guano, are allowed per acre. This kind of artificial ingredients is found to stimulate the growth of grass, and give a vigorous start to turnip plants. Mr Mackessack sows about 4 lbs. of Swedish seed per acre, and about 2 lbs. of yellow seed. He has seldom any trouble in getting a good strong braird. To sow Swedish plants thick helps to ward off the "fly." In manuring land for potatoes, Mr Mackessack gives a liberal supply of both farm-yard and artificial manures, and plants potatoes at the rate of from 14 to 18 cwt. per acre. About 10 acres are grown, and if the seed is big a ton is required to plant an acre. He takes a crop of turnips after potatoes. The tenant has drained a considerable extent of land over and over again since 1857. On some parts of Earnside he cannot get drains cut deeper than 18 inches, but they are generally about 4 feet deep. About £30 a year is required to keep them in repair. Within the past twenty-five years Mr Mackessack has greatly enhanced the value of his land. He put on clay and sandy matter at the rate of from 60 to 300 loads per acre on about 40 acres of moss soil. On some parts he spread it over to the depth of 6 inches. To the superiority of Mr Mackessack's black polled herd we shall afterwards advert. Here some reference to his skilful management in his commercial herd may not be out of place. A few years ago Mr Mackessack made a feeding experiment by selecting 24 cattle as nearly one size and age as possible, put 12 of them into one court and 12 of them into another. Besides their every day supply of turnips and straw, he began giving 1 lb. of cake each to those in one fold, and gradually increased it to 2 lbs. and 3 lbs. each per day; while those in the other fold received 1 lb. of oats and bran with a little chaff mixed, from the same day as those fed on. cake, and gradually increased to 2 and 3 lbs. per head. In the month of April Mr Mackessack got some of his neighbouring farmers, who are competent to judge pretty accurately, to give their opinion as to the difference in the valuation of the two lots. The lot which were fed on oats, bran, and chaff was worth more than the other lot, at any rate by £2 per head. Mr Mackessack gives all his feeding stock at least 1 lb. of cake per day. He has usually about 200 cattle in his possession—that is, 100 on each farm. He deals pretty extensively in commercial stock, and he estimates his yearly "turn oyer" to be from £7000 to £8000 in the cattle trade. East Grange is by far the best farm for feeding purposes, and usually most cattle are fed there. They are generally from 6 to 8 cwt, in weight before he sells them. He has excellent steadings on both farms, being commodious and very substantial, His stock of horses will compare favourably with those of almost any other farm in the county. They are strong, young, and active. Nearly all of them are prize winners, and during the past six years they have gained many valuable cups and medals, He keeps from 300 to 400 sheep during the winter, and fattens them and sells them off before April. Twenty-five years ago, Mr Mackessack paid seven guineas to his grieve in the half year, and now he pays about twice that sum. First and second horsemen had from £4 to £5, and women from £2 to £3 per half-year. Wages have increased a half since 1857. Rents since then have advanced 20 per cent., and are now too high. Swedes are grown on two-thirds of the shift, yellow turnips on one-third; one shift partly in oats and wheat, and one shift barley.

The estate of the Earl of Moray extends to about 22,000 acres in Morayshire and 300 acres in Nairnshire. Of these, there are from 6000 to 7000 acres under wood and about 6000 acres under pasture. The rental in 1866-67 was about £8868, and is now £10,000. Few proprietors are more generous and enterprising in giving facilities to their tenantry for the promotion of agricultural industry, or for getting the full benefit of the resources of the soil. He has given all possible encouragement for the advancement and improvement of agriculture in all its branches. Mr Brown, factor on the estate, designed the new cottages and farm steadings, not forgetting to mention that it was he who planned the magnificent farm steading of Wester Manbeen, which covers, as already stated, about an acre of land, and which is unexampled alike for its suitability for the farm and its great convenience, in these two counties. The varieties of soil throughout the estate are light, friable, upon gravelly subsoil, clay, loam, some moss, and sandy and gravelly soils. The holdings over the estate are irregular in size, ranging from 70 to nearly 600 acres. The farm houses are, as a rule, in excellent repair. During the past twenty-five years, a large number of excellent cottages, farm steadings, and dwelling houses have been erected, and many repaired. Nearly all the wire fencing is performed by the tenants. A considerable mileage of dykes have been built by the proprietor, which are usually about 4 feet 9 inches in height. The principal fences consist of wire. Both public and private roads within the estate are in good order. There has been a considerable extent of land reclaimed since 1857, and the greater part of the improvements in this way have been effected by the tenants ; chiefly small patches in squaring up fields and completing shifts. These reclamations have generally been profitable to both landlord and tenant. The soil over the property being generally light, comparatively few drains are required, and these have been executed by the proprietor and tenant. With the customary conditions of exit and entry—entry at Whitsunday—the duration of lease is nineteen years. Crofters hold their land from year to year. The building operations are wholly done by the proprietor, and additions to houses are mostly made at the beginning of the lease. Courts for feeding cattle are built with close roofs, those for store or young stock being about three-fourths covered. On most farms there are two courts. The extremes in the rental are about 10s. and £2, 5s. Rents are all paid in money at Candlemas and Lammas after reaping the crop. The majority of the farm servants on the estate are single, but they are being well provided with neat superior cottages, and married men are becoming more numerous every year. The favourite breed of cattle among the Earl of Moray's tenantry is cross, but there are a few pure bred animals on several farms. For feeding purposes lots of cattle are bought in, and in fact the majority of the feeding stock in the lower districts are purchased from the south and more inland parts, where the breeding of cattle constitutes a more important branch of the farming husbandry. The first fat cattle are usually marketable about Christmas, and herds continue to be reduced until the end of spring, by which time the feeding stock is cleared out. In many cases the cattle receive, some weeks before sending off, from 2 to 4 lbs. of cake per day. The prevailing system of rotation is the five-shift course, but a few farms are worked on the six-shift course, as it is found to mitigate the loss by finger-and-toe amongst turnips. There are two sheep farms on the estate, viz., Braemoray and Broadshaw, where the pasture is a mixture of grass and heather. On these farms the blackfaced breed of sheep are kept. Crofters number about twelve, whose crofts vary in size from 4 to 8 and 10 acres. They are mostly day labourers. About 100 acres of wood have been planted on the estate since 1857. Mr Brown, factor for the Earl of Moray, is tenant of the farm of Earlsmill.

The estates of Westfield and Hythehill, the property of Mr Hugh M'Lean, consists of 562 arable acres, 15 acres borders of roads, and 68 acres of wood, or in all, 649 acres. The total rental in 1862 was £1208, 10s., and is now £1140. The nature of the soil on these estates varies from sandy loam to clayey loam, and what is known as Moray clay. The size of the farms on the property is 259, 121, and 184 acres respectively. On all these farms steadings have been rebuilt, since 1862, at the sole expense of the owner. The estate is well provided with hedge and wire fences. Both public and private roads are in good order. There have been no reclamations effected over the property during the past twenty-five years, but the estate has been drained by the owner since 1862. Like on most other estates, the duration of lease is nineteen years, with entry at Whitsunday on the usual conditions. Building and fencing is executed by the landlord, and maintained by the tenant. Half the cost of maintaining drains, cleaning ditches, painting wood, and fire insurance, is paid by the landlord, and the other half by the tenant. The average rental per acre throughout the property is about 40s. Rents are paid in money at Candlemas and Lammas. In regard to farm servants, grieves, cattlemen, shepherds, and foremen are mostly married, while the younger horsemen are single. Three cottages were erected prior to 1862, while eight have been built since then. The five-shift course has been pursued over the estate for many years. More cattle are purchased by the tenantry than are bred, and the prevailing breeds are crosses and black polled cattle. They are chiefly bought when three-quarters old and sold as two-year-olds. They are partly fed in stalls and partly loose in courts. A good deal of cake is used by some farmers. A flock of half-bred sheep were kept on the estate till recently, but none are now kept. There are no crofts on the property. The home farm is about 250 acres in extent.

In our progress westwards, we next come to the estates of Kinloss and Seapark, the property of Mrs Phoebe Dunbar Dunbar, on which stands the time-honoured ruins' of Kinloss Abbey, both in the parish of Kinloss. The former of these is about 103 acres or thereby in extent. Mrs Dunbar has also a lease of the farm of Whiteinch, adjoining the Seapark estate, for which she pays a rent of £132 to Mr Munro Ferguson of Novar and Muirton. Seapark consists of policies round the mansion house, extending to about 12 acres. Mrs Dunbar Dunbar and her husband Mr Edward Dunbar Dunbar are, jointly, owners of the estate of Glen Rothes, in the parish of Rothes, extending to 2500 acres. Great improvements have been made on both Kinloss and Glen Rothes estates during the past fifteen years, in erecting new buildings, and in fencing, draining, reclaiming, and planting. On the Glen Rothes estate, in particular, the farm buildings are almost all new, and have been built in the most modern and approved styles. The farm of Pitcraigie, on this property, has been subdivided with stone dykes and wire fencing, and in doing so it was found necessary to make a considerable length of good roads. In the construction of these about £350 were spent. About 2200 yards of dykes have been carefully built, with a nice taper towards the top, and are firmly coped and pointed with lime. On this farm 15 acres of land have been thoroughly drained. The drains were laid with pipes at the depth of 3 feet 6 inches. Above these pipes a slight covering of earth was first put on, followed by a covering of

about one foot deep of 3-inch broken metal, and then the final covering of soil, the object in putting the layer of broken metal being to facilitate the absorption of surface water. This is done only where the land is stiff and retentive. The drains were cut 6 yards apart. About 8000 yards of fencing, 4 feet high, and with six wires,— the lower three being No. 7 and the upper three No. 6 wire,—have also been erected on the farm of Pitcraigie, and it is now securely fenced. The duration of lease is nineteen years, with entry at Whitsunday, on conditions similar to those of the Earl of Seafield's estates. It may be mentioned, that with regard to building during the currency of the lease, the tenants pay 5 per cent. of interest. A flock of 300 Cheviots is kept upon the farm of Pitcraigie, and the ewes are crossed with a Leicester tup, the lambs being usually sold for delivery at 12th August, when they bring from 24s. to 30s. each. A few years ago a very excellent sheep cot, with lambing sheds, wool store, and shepherds house attached, was built. This is one of the most useful and convenient buildings on the estate. Over this property the six-course shift is pursued, with three grasses. On the farms of Pitcraigie and Barluack, both of which are occupied by Mr and Mrs Dunbar, cattle have been coming more into favour for the past four years. On the former, about ten calves are annually reared from cross bred cows and black polled bull; and on the latter holding, which is 140 acres in extent, about 20 animals are annually fed, and ten yearlings are kept in open courts. Mrs Dunbar Dunbar only bought the farm of Barluack about three years ago, from the Earl of Seafield, and since then 26 acres of it have been drained, and about 2900 yards of wire fencing erected. It is presently in the course of being limed, at the rate of 8 bolls per acre. On the Glen Rothes estate about 100 acres of land have been planted with fir during the past twenty years. Mr H. M. S. Mackay, Elgin, has been factor on these estates for about five years, and during that time many of the improvements mentioned have been carried out by his directions.

To the south of the Kinloss estate, lies that of Burgie, the property of the trustees of the late Mr Robert Tulloch (for which Mr H. M. S. Mackay, Elgin, is factor). It is wholly in the parish of Rafford, and is 2600 imperial acres in extent. Of these, 1290 acres are arable, 800 pasture, and 510 under wood. The total valuation of the estate in 1866-67 was £1166, 5s., and in 1881, £1445. Part of the land is a sandy loam on an open subsoil, and part consists of a sharp gravelly and cold retentive soil resting on a stratum of clay. The farms vary in extent from 40 to 410 arable acres. On the larger holdings the farm houses are in excellent order, while those on the smaller farms are in tenant-able condition. The roads are uniformly good, and suitable for the traffic. By trench ploughing during the last twenty-five years, about 100 acres of pasture and moor land, which was worth originally 1s. per acre, on the hill of Burgie, have been reclaimed, and are now worth from 8s. to 12s. 6d. per acre. About 80 acres also reclaimed on the Burgie Lodge farm, and of these about four-fifths have been ploughed and one-fifth trenched. The cost of reclamation is estimated at from £5 to £20 per acre, which was paid by the tenant. An enterprising tenant improved about 40 acres on Burgie Hill, and for £50 sublet his holding, for which he only paid £20. The other improvements effected, apart from reclamation of land, have been chiefly in squaring up farms and repairing drains. The duration of lease, as on most other estates, is nineteen years, with entry at Whitsunday to houses, grass, and fallow, and at the separation of the crop of that year from the ground to the land under crop. The terms of removal, as regards the garden and green crop, fix the 1st of May as the day of exit. If buildings be executed by the tenants at their own expense, they are kept in repair by the trustees, by way of recompensating these tenants for the labour and expense incurred in erecting the houses. For instance, in the year 1866, three leases expired, and the tenants had claims for meliorations for improvements effected during the currency of their leases, which instead of being paid to the tenants, the proprietors relet the farms to the same tenants at such rents as to wipe off all their claims. In the case of a large farm, the lease of which expired in 1868, when the tenant had a claim for about £1400, the same course of remuneration was adopted. The average rent over the estate is 21s. per acre ; the lowest 7s., and the highest 36s. Rents are paid partly at Candlemas and Lammas, after the ingathering of the crop, and partly at Whitsunday and Martinmas. Cottages are numerous, and a good many of the farms servants are married. On light and loamy soils the farms are divided as nearly as possible into five and six shifts of equal size, at the beginning of the lease, and the tenant then follows out a regular system by either of these courses. The rules are these—"The five-shift shall consist of, first year, green crop; second year, white or com crop laid down with grass; third, hay to be cut once only and then pastured; fourth, second year's grass; and fifth, white or corn crop." The six-shift system is the same as that of the five-shift, except that there are three years' grass instead of two. The cattle on the Burgie Lodge farm, tenanted by Mr R. J. Mackay, are pure bred shorthorns, but generally throughout the estate a cross breed of cattle between a black polled bull and cross cows prevail. Most of the cattle fed are sold fat, when two and a half years' old. Mr Mackay's pure bred herd of shorthorns originally sprung from the Spynie and Inchbroom stocks, and with judicious purchases, when a chance of obtaining good blood occurred, he gradually improved his stock, and was in possession of a very superior herd before it was disposed on 18th October 1882. One of his best and most remunerative purchases was that of cattle which were obtained from the far-famed Peepy herd in England, where he also secured from other famous sources other animals of considerable merit. There are no sheep farms on the estate, and there are only two crofters, one of whom is a labourer and the other an old residenter. At least 100 acres of pasture and moor have been planted since 1850.

Resuming our westward journey, we enter the parish of Forres, which has a total area of 5963.370 acres. The rental in 1866-67 was £5831, 18s., and in 1881-82, £7840, 7s, The parish is triangular in form, and contains great diversity of soil. In the lower half rich highly cultivated alluvium abounds, and is superincumbent on a rich gravelly subsoil. About the centre of the parish there is a good deal of sandy soil, while in the upper district it varies from poor sand to light loam. It is as a whole highly productive when well managed. Mr Fraser occupies two farms—Netherton and Greeshop, in this parish, and Woodside, in the parish of Kinloss. The former extends to 220 acres arable, with a few acres pasture. The soil is of a clayey nature resting on a subsoil of gravel. It is a fair depth on about 140 acres, and on the remainder, which stands on a distinctly lower level, is very shallow. The six-shift course is pursued on the best land, but the poor land is worked separately. The farm of Greeshop covers an area of 115 arable acres. The soil on it is alluvial, and about four-fifths of it fair in depth. It is wrought on the same system as Netherton, except that potatoes follow grass, and then wheat. The two farms may, for the sake of brevity, be described together. Land is kept four years in grass, then turnips, and next oats sown out with grass seeds. When the season is not too dry, good crops of both oats and turnips are obtained. On good land, two grasses are taken, followed by wheat, which is laid down with a mixture of manure from the burgh of Forres and farm-yard manure. Land for potatoes is dunged before ploughing in autumn, and when planting, guano, muriate of potash, and dissolved bones to the value of 70s, are given per acre, which is sown broadcast on the drills. The next crop is turnips, and by the liberal treatment which the land has received with the two previous crops, 4 cwt. per acre dissolved bones, along with farm-yard manure, produce a full crop. Barley sown with grass seeds finishes the rotation. Mr Fraser has renewed his lease of Greeshop, and no particular rotation has been specified. Both farms were wrought with a pair fewer horses previous to the potato culture, but since then three pairs are required on Netherton and two pairs on Greeshop. Nearly all the grass on the poor land is eaten by sheep, and the turnips all consumed on the farm. Mr Fraser rears no cattle, but buys his stock when yearlings, and sells them off when fat, weighing from 5 to 7 cwt. On Gree-shop the only stock of cattle is about 30 dairy cows. They consume grass, turnips, and other food during the winter, to the value of about 60s. each. They are principally Ayrshire and cross bred cows, bought in newly calved and sold off fat. They are fattened partly in courts and partly in stalls. Byre feeding is generally preferred to that of court. Cattle are seldom fed off without something additional to turnips and straw. Some grain and a good deal cake are used, but two or three months of extraneous feeding is found to be long enough to pay, and if it is used beyond this period the allowance must be reduced. The farm is in the immediate vicinity of Forres, and the milk is called for.

Rents in the western part of the county vary from 20s. to 60s. per imperial acre, and the average stands between 30s. and 40s. Every acre of first-class land costs the tenant about 50s. Rents have been gradually creeping up, and they are now from 25 to 30 per cent. higher than they were twenty five-years ago. This district has, perhaps owing to its low rainfall and open subsoil, suffered less from the past wet seasons than the rest of the country, but notwithstanding, farming has not been paying. The district is pretty equally divided between the five and six shifts' rotation. Though the rotations in the western part of the county are prescribed in the lease, deviations occur, but are generally overlooked. There was one case, however, in the neighbourhood of Netherton, where a tenant had to leave his farm for miscropping. The average returns of the various crops on these farms, and of the district generally, are barley and oats about 5 quarters per acre, wheat 4 quarters. Barley in exceptional cases yields as much as 7 quarters, and wheat 6 quarters per acre. Turnips yield from 15 to 20 tons per acre; potatoes about 5 tons, though 7, 8, and 10 tons are not unknown. Less wheat has been grown in late years than formerly. Barley is often substituted for wheat after lea. It does not, however, suit well, being more liable to lodge after grass than after green crop; besides, barley twice in one shift does not suit. A good many potatoes have been grown in recent years, but the price has been so low for the past two seasons that the acreage is very likely to be greatly reduced. Potatoes will barely pay the producer at 50s. per ton. Three conditions are essential to the successful cultivation of potatoes on a large scale, and these are—first, an abundant supply of dung within a reasonable distance; secondly.

a good command of labour; and thirdly, proximity to a railway station. A number of half-bred and greyfaced lambs are usually bought in in the end of the year, and fed off during the following spring and summer. Those intended to be fattened for market in spring require to be well kept, and receive a liberal allowance of cake and corn each per day. The Clydesdale is the favourite breed of horses. They have improved much during the past twenty-five years, and there is at present a good class of horses in the district. Seventy acres is the ordinary allotment to a pair of horses, but this is regulated by the system of cropping and size of the farm. Farm servants are mostly single, but there is a great want of labourers' cottages. Wages have fallen to the extent of about £5 per year for the past few years. When the present depression set in, they stood about 33 per cent. higher than they did twenty years ago.

The farm of Woodside, 118 acres in extent, in the parish of Kinross, is also in the possession of Mr Fraser. The soil on it is various, and altogether of secondary quality, including stiff clay, moss, and vegetable mould, all resting on sand which crops up here and there. It is wrought under the six-shift rotation, viz., three grasses, oats, turnips, and barley. The turnip crop gets all the dung made on the farm, along with about 4 cwt. dissolved bones per acre, which is all the extraneous manure used on the farm. Owing to the three years' grass, very fair crops are raised. Part of the turnips and all the grass is consumed by sheep, and only one pair of horses are kept.

Perhaps the largest farm and one of the most skilfully managed in this parish is that of Balnaferry, occupied by Mr John Mackessack. It contains 500 arable and 100 acres pasture, for which the actual rent is £762. The extremes in the rental for ordinary soil in this part of the parish is £1 and £3. Some cowfeeders in Forres pay as high as £5 and £6 per acre. The greater part of the soil on Balnaferry is kindly black loam with gravelly subsoil. The five-course shift is pursued by the majority of farmers, but the six-course system is also followed. On the best land wheat yields about 5 quarters, barley 6 quarters, and oats 6 quarters per acre. In a good year wheat weighs 65 lbs., barley 56 lbs., oats from 42 to 44 lbs. per bushel. It is chiefly chevalier barley that is grown in Morayshire. After going through the ordinary course of preparation of land for roots, Mr Mackessack gives from 20 to 25 loads dung, with 3 to 4 cwt. bone meal, 1 cwt. Peruvian guano, and 1 cwt. superphosphate per acre. Potatoes are planted in the end of March, and manured the same as turnips. During the past twenty-five or twenty-six years Mr Mackessack has reclaimed about 200 acres of land from whins and heather, and now he pays more than double the former rent. The proprietor gave a small allowance for about one-half of this extent. In addition, Mr Mackessack built several cattle courts, and put up a deal of fencing, without any assistance from the proprietor. He breeds few cattle, but feeds about 100 principally in folds. They are fed chiefly on turnips and straw, with 2 lbs. of cake each per day, and before selling off the cake is increased to 4 lbs. with sometimes a little meal. They usually weigh from 5 to 8 cwt. when fat. From 300 to 600 cross-bred sheep are reared from the Cheviots and Leicesters. The lambs are fed on turnips and hay, with about ½ lb. each of cake per day. Part of them are kept till the grass season arrives, when they are fed on grass and cake. There is a good stock of horses on the farm, and these are calculated to work from 60 to 100 acres a pair. Wages have advanced fully a third since 1857. Cottages are not abundant. Rents have risen about 20 or 25 per cent. during the past twenty-five years.

Towards the upper end of this parish there are not a few well-managed farms. The farm of Mundole is about 200 acres in extent, of which 20 acres are pasture. The rental in this district ranges from 20s. to 50s., and in exceptional cases 60s. per acre. Three-fourths of Mundole is black mould and sand, on gravelly subsoil. The six-course shift is pursued, viz., two grasses, wheat, oats, turnips, and then barley sown out with grass. Wheat when sown from 1st to loth October yields well, and so also do oats, but not barley. After preparing land for turnips in the usual way, Mr Anderson, tenant, allows from 15 to 20 loads of dung and 4 cwt. superphosphates, and 2 cwt. small bones per acre, over the whole turnip field. Potatoes get court-manure as far as it will distribute, and when it falls short 5 cwt. of kainit is given per acre, along with 3 cwt. small bones. Mr Anderson has reclaimed about 15 acres since Whitsunday 1876, when he entered upon the management of the farm. He also built the greater part of the farm steading, repaired the dwelling house, made new stackyard, elected dykes and wire fencing, which involved an expenditure of over £600. From 15 to 20 cross bred and polled cattle are reared every year and about 30 fattened. They are tied up for feeding about the 1st of October, and are fed on turnips, straw, cake, and sometimes a little corn. When fat they usually weigh about 6 cwt., and bring from £20 to £24 each. Five years ago, Mr Anderson sold one-year-old cattle, for which he received £16 and £17 a head, but last year for similar animals he got only £13 each. Mr Anderson has a fair stud of farm horses, which work at the rate of 60 acres a pair. He thrashes all his crop with them except barley, and drives about 200 loads of dung from Forres every spring. He breeds two foals every year. The only noteworthy changes in the system of farming since 1857, are that more potatoes are now planted, and less wheat and more barley sown. The only desirable-change, says Mr Anderson, is "three years' grass pastured on most of the land at least once in a lease, and to labour the different qualities of soil on a farm, when practicable, on a rotation suitable to each if allowed to do so." He grows about 30 acres of turnips, the half of which is Swedish and the other half yellow, except on lightish soil, when he grows two-thirds yellow and only one-third Swedish, and about 30 acres respectively of oats, barley, and wheat annually.

The parish of Dallas, having a total area of 23,024.823 acres ranks fourth in Morayshire, and showed a rental of £4873, 15s. in 1866-67 and now reaches a valuation of £5493, 4s. There is a great extent of fine friable soil in this parish, and it is presently in a high state of cultivation. It is beautifully diversified with rising grounds and level straths of great fertility The climate is as a rule slightly cold, but nevertheless luxuriant crops are generally obtained. One of the largest holdings in the parish is Mains of Edinvail, which is 270 acres arable and 55 pasture in extent. The tenant holds two farms. The rental in the district generally ranges from £1 to £1, 10s. per acre. The soil varies from black loam to gravel. The tenant adopts the seven-course shift, viz., two crops oats after lea, turnips and potatoes, and barley followed by three years' grass. On the other farm the six-course is pursued, viz., two crops oats, turnips and potatoes, and barleys followed by two grasses. Crops vary in their yielding according to the season. In 1880 the lea crop averaged 5½ quarters per acre, weighed 42 lbs.; barley 4 quarters per acre, weighed 55 lbs.; and potatoes 4½ tons per acre. In 1881 the yield per acre was at least 1 quarter less than that of 1880, and the grain was about 3 lbs. lighter per bushel. The general system of cleaning land in this parish is much the same as we have already described. The land is ploughed 8 inches deep in autumn, and it is also ploughed, grubbed, and harrowed repeatedly in spring. It receives as manure 24 loads of dung and 5½ cwt. dissolved bones per acre. For potatoes the land gets a similar quantity of dung and 5 cwt. dissolved bones. Since the present tenant of Mains of Edinvail entered in 1870, he has effected great improvements in clearing away foundations of old houses, and cultivating the land. The proprietor built a large proportion of the dykes on the farm, and trenched 6 acres of reclaimable land. Sixteen cows are kept on the farm, which foster 24 calves every year. Fourteen cattle are tied up for feeding purposes in October, are fed on cut swedes, potatoes, bruised corn and oilcake, and are sold away mostly in March, weighing from 5 to 6 cwt, each. The horses are good, and 67 acres are allotted to a pair. Servants are mostly single. Men get from £8 to £12, women from £3 to £5, boys from £3 to £5 per half year, exclusive of board. Oats are the most remunerative cereal.

We have now reached the western side of the county of Moray, where the combined parishes of Dyke and Moy, which were united in 1618, forms the connecting link between Moray and Nairn, and which stretches for a considerable distance on both sides of the dividing line. Before going on to notice the system of farming pursued in this parish, we may mention the principal objects of historical interest. Darnaway Castle, which is said to have been built by Thomas, Earl of Moray, is a magnificent oblong building of great antiquity, and is notable for an ancient hall of extraordinary dimensions, forming the back wing of the castle, which is the summer residence of the present Earl of Moray. The hall measures 100 feet long, 40 feet wide, and about 90 feet high. Brodie Castle, the residence of Brodie of Brodie, is built in an old English castellated style, and is also notable for its antiquity. It is only a few miles west of Forres, and is surrounded by clumps of trees and lovely pleasure grounds. Perhaps the most interesting object is Macbeth's Hillock, or the "blasted heath," It is said to have been the scene of Macbeth's meeting with the three weird sisters of Forres, while he and Banquo journeyed from the Western Islands to meet King Duncan at Forres.

The extent of the parish is 15,463*911 imperial acres, and rental £7728, 8s. in 1866-67; its present valuation is £8944, 15s. The largest estate within the parish is that of Brodie of Brodie. There are also a few less extensive properties. On Mrs Ann Chadwick or Grant's property, Earnhill is the largest and one of the most skilfully worked farms. It extends to 280 acres arable, and about 120 acres pasture. The rental of the farm was £542 in 1866-67, and the present rent is £630. Mr Richard Harris, the present tenant, has occupied this farm for about thirty years, and is a distinguished agriculturist. The land of the farm consists of good loam and light sandy soil. Mr Harris breeds a few cattle, but feeds a good many more than he rears. He also breeds a small flock of Leicester sheep, and buys in sheep to feed. The course of husbandry pursued on the farm is the six-course shift, viz., two grasses, followed by two corn crops, a green crop, and then barley sown with grass seeds. This system prevails on good lands. Mr Harris grows a few mangolds occasionally, and uses a great deal of artificial feeding material both for cattle and sheep. The cost of labour has risen greatly during the past twenty-five years, but it has fallen considerably since 1878. A ploughman gets from £15 to £16, with a house and rations, in the half year. For turnip hoeing, haymaking, and harvesting, there is difficulty in procuring casual labourers. Mr Harris thinks that improvements might be divided into two classes—firstly, fences, buildings, drains ; and secondly, manures. With regard to houses, fences, and drains, Mr Harris thinks it highly desirable that the landlords should provide them all, so as to free the tenant's capital for the working of the land. He put in a lot of drains some twenty-five years ago, at the depth of 4 feet, which are still working well. The custom, in event of a tenant leaving on this estate is that the outgoing tenant is paid for the waygoing crop, and when leaving at Whitsunday is paid for the labour in preparing the land for the turnips. As far as manuring is concerned, he gets a crop wherever he has manured. The average rent of wheat-growing land is about £2 per acre. Mr Harris grows wheat every year, which weighs from 62 lbs. to 66 lbs. in good years. Day labourers get about 3s. per day, and from 18s. to 25s. is spent in labouring each acre. First horsemen get about £30 a year in money and £8, 10s. in kind, Mr Harris's total amount of poors rates is £16, 14s. 8d., of which the landlord pays the half: he pays £7, 5s. for education rate, and £9, 16s. 11d. for road taxation.

The farm of Wester Moy, tenanted by Mr William Mac-Donald, is very carefully and judiciously managed. Mr Mac-Donald can boast of one of the most compact farm steadings and of one of the best kept holdings in the north of Scotland. The farm is all arable, and is 135 acres in extent. The rental is at present £306. The rental of the district runs from 32s. to 35s. per acre. The soil is good, and the climate favourable. Mr MacDonald adopts the six-shift rotation. The average yield of wheat is 5 quarters per acre, weighing 63 lbs. per bushel; barley 5 quarters 4 bushels, weighing 56 lbs.; oats 6 quarters per acre, weighing 43 lbs. After preparing land for roots in the usual way, drills are opened 26 inches wide with a double plough. From 3 to 4 lbs. of seed is given per acre, and in singling plants are left from 10 to 11 inches apart. The manure applied is 20 loads of dung, 1½ cwt. of bone meal, 2 cwt. Peruvian guano, and 4½ cwt. of best dissolved bones per acre. The estimated cost of laying down an acre of turnips is £7. Finger-and-toe sometimes proves ruinous to turnips, and especially on soil lying on a clay bottom. Mr MacDonald has greatly improved the drainage of his farm during the past twenty-five years. He has levelled many open ditches, for which he used pipes from 6 to 9 inches in diameter. In the ordinary drains, pipes from 3 to 4 inches in diameter were used. During the past twenty-five years the proprietor laid out from £900 to £1000 in extending and improving the dwelling house, and about £300 in erecting a double cottage for two married servants. Mr MacDonald has improved the farm steading very much on his own account, mostly in the way of providing accommodation for a steam threshing mill. He breeds from 6 to 8 calves every year, and feeds from 22 to 24 cattle in covered courts. They are taken in for feeding in the middle of October, and sold fat, weighing from 8 to 9 cwt. and sometimes more, during spring months. Yellow turnips and straw, with 2½ lbs. of linseed cake per animal, constitute the staple food for the first few weeks. In course of time swedes are given, and an increased allowance of cake, say 3 to 3½ lbs. each, per day. The tenant finds that polled cattle fatten more equally than when mixed with horned animals, because they are more settled, and agree better about their food. His Clydesdale horses are extremely good, strong, and active. He has three men boarded in the kitchen, who get from £12 to £16 in the half year. Wages have more than doubled since 1857. Mr MacDonald says—"I see more potatoes grown and more low priced phosphates used than formerly, which I have no doubt is one reason why the land is not producing so much good grain and strong stiff straw as it used to do. If we could afford to pasture our grass land for three years, and use more bones and bone meal, we would doubtless manage to restore the grain-producing properties of the soil." Twenty-one acres swedes and 5 acres yellow turnips, 25 acres wheat, 25 acres barley, 21 acres oats, 2 acres potatoes, and 2 acres tares, are the usual proportions of the various crops grown.

The farm of Feddan is 200 imperial acres in extent of arable land, and 178 acres of wood and pasture. The soil is generally light, with a gravelly bottom and an occasional patch of pan. The tenant, Mr Brown, is bound to the five-shift rotation. Barley, which is the most remunerative cereal, yields from 4 to 5½ quarters. Oats return a similar quantity. Mr Brown ploughs land for turnips 9 inches deep in autumn, if the subsoil will allow it, which he leaves unharrowed till spring. After it is harrowed in spring he leaves it at least ten clays. This he considers of great importance, because the more the surface is exposed he finds that it absorbs the ammonia better with which the atmosphere is charged. Drills are formed 28 inches wide for swedes and 27 for yellow turnips. Fifteen cubic yards of well-made farm-yard manure is spread in the drill, to which is added 2 cwt. dissolved bones, 2 cwt. superphosphate, and 1 cwt. Peruvian guano per acre for swedes and yellow turnips, 2 cwt. dissolved bones and 2 cwt. superphosphates per acre is the general allowance. Should the dung run short, an additional supply of from 6 to 8 bushels of ground bones are given. About half the root crop is eaten off by sheep. The artificial manure is sown broadcast, a man sowing five drills at once, which allows it to lie nearer the young plants, and consequently come quicker into action than when it is deposited in the bottom of the drill. From 5 to 6 acres of potatoes are laid down with from 10 to 15 loads of dung, 2 cwt. dissolved bones, and 2½ cwt. of muriate of potash. Mr Brown has erected about 2200 yards of wire fencing at his own expense since 1864, and also some sheds, for which the landlord afforded wood. The cattle consist of shorthorns and crosses, of which some six or eight are annually reared. Feeding stock are tied up about the end of October, and are finished off with a little bruised corn and cake about February, when they weigh from 6 to 7 cwt. Mr Brown used to keep 150 Cheviot ewes to breed from, but they required more grass than was available for them, and on that account they were disposed of. He now keeps half-bred greyfaced hoggs instead. Horses are of the Clydesdale breed, and are hardy, useful animals, working from 70 to 75 acres a pair on level ground. Wages for servants run from £9 to £13, with 33 stones of meal, and twopence worth of milk per day, in the half year. In 1855 wages were about £3, 10s. under the current fees. Where there have been no improvements effected, rents have risen about 20 per cent., but where extensive improvements have been made, they have increased about 50 per cent. Mr Brown says—"That all capable or managing tenants should have freedom of cropping at least till within two or three years of the expiry of their leases."

The Upper Division of Morayshire.

In continuing our tour, we now leave what is known as the "Laigh of Moray," and emerge into the upper division of the county. We do not intend to go so minutely into the general customs and farm management of the upper districts. The farming systems are not so various as in the lower half, and through the courtesy of the leading proprietors and tenants we are enabled to draw up a pretty full general notice, which will doubtless suffice to indicate the different systems pursued. The upper half may be said to extend to an area of 156,201.655 acres, but a considerable proportion of this is heath or mountain land. The first parish on our journeying in a south-eastward direction is Edinkillie, which extends to 32,904.569 acres, and reaches a total valuation of £6121, 10s. There is a great deal of wood, and most of the parish is fertile, sharp soil, varying from loam to gravel, and is generally well sheltered. Among the most important agricultural holdings is that of Mr James Sinclair, Newton of Darnaway, which extends to 200 acres. The soil in this district is fairly good, and the average rental varies from 25s. to 28s. per acre. The five-course shift is chiefly pursued, viz., two grasses, oats, turnips, and barley. On this farm oats yield about 5 quarters, barley 4 quarters per acre, but generally in the district barley yields from 5 to 5½ quarters. Land is tilled for roots in the common way, and about 20 loads of dung and from 8 to 10 cwt. of superphosphates and dissolved bones are given per acre. Potatoes are manured much in the same way. Since 1871 the proprietor, the Earl of Moray, has laid out £300 on draining and about £500 on buildings. Mr Sinclair feeds about 14 cattle every year, tying up in October, and selling off when two years old in April. The last three months, in addition to straw and turnips, feeding cattle get from 1 to 1½ lb. oilcake each per day. Fifty breeding ewes and a Cheviot tup are kept on the farm, are summered in a park 25 arable acres in extent, and get turnips in winter. These ewes are bought in in October for about 28s. each, and sold along with their lambs at £3. Mr Sinclair has three active pairs of Clydesdale horses, which work about 70 acres a pair. The first horseman has £14, second man £12, third man £8 to £9 per half year. Girls have about £6. Wages have nearly doubled since 1855.

The Earl of Seafield's estates are among the largest in the north of Scotland. They extend to about 149,500 acres, of which about 40,500 are arable and about 109,000 permanent pasture, including wood and ground reserved for plantation. In 1808 the acreage of cultivated land in the Strathspey estate was 13,000 acres. Properly speaking, the estates in the upper districts of Moray, Banff, and Inverness extend to 124,500 acres, and the estates in the "Laigh of Moray" cover a total area of about 25,000 acres, and consist chiefly of valuable arable land, interspersed with old and young timber. On the latter, since 1864, the proprietor expended on improvements about £39,500, irrespective of expenditure in planting wood. Of that sum, £22,500 has been laid out upon buildings, £5800 upon payment to tenants for improvements made by them, about £3660 upon drainage, £2100 upon fencing, £1150 upon roads, £2730 upon church buildings and schools, £660 upon embankments, and over £500 in various other improvements. Of the Seafield estates in the "Laigh of Moray," 10,000 acres are arable, above 10,000 acres pasture, and about 5000 under wood. The annual rental of it is £10,500, exclusive of shootings, which realise about £1100. The rental in 1855 was £7000. The size of farms on the estate range from 1651 acres downwards. Buildings on the estate are all superior, many of them having been recently built. One of the finest steadings in the country is that of Linkwood, which cost nearly £2000; and another commodious new steading is that of Dandaleith, which cost £1800. The estate all over is pretty substantially fenced, chiefly with wire, and upwards of £2000 has been expended in fencing since 1864. Since the present factor Mr Smith came to the Strathspey property, nineteen years ago, nearly every farm building has been remodelled, many miles of dykes have been erected, and roads constructed. The duration of lease is nineteen years, with entry at Whitsunday, and after-hand rent. During the past twenty-five years many servants' cottages have been built. Over the whole estate the five-course shift is pursued. Mr Smith became factor for the "Laigh of Moray" estates in 1872, and since then he has made manifest his great enthusiasm and enterprise both in improvement of land and houses. The leases fell out in 1867. The best land is rented at about 24s. per acre. Many crofters pay only about 10s. per acre. While the tenants are encouraged to make improvements, the landlord expends about £6000 annually in improving the estate. The work of reclamation has progressed satisfactorily under the present leases, over 1000 acres of new land having been put under crop.

The farm of Ballintomb is one of the principal holdings in the upper division of the county, and extends to about 300 acres, of which 50 acres are in pasture. In the parish of Cromdale the rental varies from 17s. to 20s. per acre. The soil is generally light, but of a fairly friable and kindly nature. The climate is not suitable for the successful cultivation of barley, but oats yield remarkably well, considering the elevation of the land. About 700 feet above the sea level, oats weigh from 40 to 43 lbs. per bushel in average seasons. The customary way of preparing and cleaning land for turnips in this district is adopted on Ballintomb, viz., ploughing stubbles in the end of the year, grubbing and cleaning in spring. The manure is put into drills at the rate of from 30 to 40 loads of farm-yard manure, with from 4 to 6 cwt. artificial manure, chiefly bones, per acre, Potatoes are similarly treated as regards the manuring of the land. In this district the proprietor has done a great deal in building, fencing, and draining during the past twenty-five years. Farmers should breed cattle more extensively in this district than they do, although they habitually breed more than they feed. We shall refer subsequently to Mr Mann's famous black polled herd. About 400 lambs are wintered on the farm of Ballintomb, being bought in in August and sold in spring. The farm horses in the district, as well as on this holding, are generally good. About 80 acres are allotted to a pair. Servants are mostly single, and get from £8 to £14 per half year. Freedom of cropping is urgently desired by the majority of tenants in this parish. Some farmers are of opinion that the six or seven course shift could be more advantageously wrought in the upper districts than the five-shift system.

The following has been sent us by one of the leading tenants in Strathspey, which gives a very comprehensive, though brief, description of the farming systems pursued in the upper districts :—

"The average rental of the upper division of the county, or more particularly that portion of it lying to the east of the Spey, may be stated at from 18s. to 20s. per imperial acre, and almost every description of soil is found in it. The haugh lands, lying along the river banks, are generally fine alluvial mould, with here and there a tendency to gravel, while higher up it gradually gets stiffer, colder, and poorer, until the hillfoot farms are reached; they are found to consist very largely of reclaimed moss. By far the greater proportion of the land is farmed in the ordinary five-shift rotation, viz., two years grass, then oats, next turnips and potatoes, followed by barley or oats with grass seeds. About a twentieth of the whole area of the upper districts is worked on the six-shift system, viz., two white crops taken after lea, instead of one, as in the five-shift course. This is found to answer well on strong stiff clay soils, and the second or 'yaval' crop, which invariably gets a little artificial manure, is, in many cases, better than the first crop. The first year's grass is generally divided between pasturing and hay, probably near a half of each; while pasturing altogether the first year, and haying the second, is almost unknown. From 34 to 36 bushels an acre is about the average yield of grain over the upper districts, though of course in many instances the return is very much larger. In exceptional cases in favourable years, as much as 9 quarters, or 72 bushels an acre, have been yielded. Within the past ten or twelve years the use of portable steam mill thrashing has been largely taken advantage of, while now the old portable engine is being entirely supplanted by the traction. Stubble ploughing, or the first stage of preparing the land for turnips, is engaged in immediately after harvest, and farmers generally have the first ploughing finished by Christmas, after which time lea ploughing is proceeded with. The second ploughing, or 'steering,' as it is called, is begun immediately after the grain crops are laid down. If the ground is clean, the double harrowing is sufficient to prepare the turnip break for drilling, but in many cases it requires also grubbing once or even twice, with additional harrowing, a fine mould being a great advantage and assistance towards securing a vigorous braird of the young-plants. As much of the land as can be got ready by Whitsunday term (26th May) is generally sown in swedes, which after that date are generally considered too late. Yellow turnips are sown between Whitsunday and the last week of June. Most farmers now, however, have turnip sowing finished before that time except in unfavourable years, such as last year (1881), when, owing to the ravages of 'fly.' and other causes, second and even third sowing had to be resorted to. About 20 yards of dung and from 4 to 6 cwt. of artificial manure is considered a good allowance per imperial acre for turnips, the kinds of manure being of course varied in accordance with the different nature of soils. Potatoes in the upper districts are not grown to any great extent, in many cases not more than are required for family use. Polled cattle are getting every year deservedly more into favour, as they are better suited to the climate than the more tender shorthorns. Crosses, however, still largely predominate, and the majority of young stock are generally kept on by the breeder till they attain the age of from twenty to twenty-four months. Feeding cattle are generally tied up immediately after harvest, and are usually ready to be turned out fat about Christmas. Many good feeders there certainly are in the county, as the prize lists of all the fat shows annually testify, and never more so than this year (1881), when the champion of Smithfield was bred and sent from Morayshire; but this is a department of agriculture which is not nearly so well attended to as it ought to be. The breed of horses in some districts could be considerably improved with advantage to farmers, as they are not as a rule equal in quality to that of cattle. Very few really good entire horses come so far north, and they are seldom up to the standard of excellence which the Clydesdale breed is known to possess. Cottage accommodation for servants is still very deficient, though great improvements in this direction are being usually made. The wages of farm servants may be said to have doubled within the last thirty years, though at present they are 10 to 15 per cent. lower than they were three or four years ago. The number of acres allotted to each ploughman and pair of horses varies greatly with the different kinds of farms. On steep farms of strong land, 60 to 70 acres is all that a pair can work ; while on a level easily wrought farm, they can overtake about 90 acres. Interest of buildings and drainage contribute largely to increase rents, and in many cases a good deal of improvement in this way is still required and will doubtless be soon effected.

The scenery in Strathspey is magnificent, and the arable land on either side of the river Spey rises with gentle aclivity, and stretches for a considerable distance up the sides of the hills. It is a great resort of pleasure seekers during the summer and autumn, when crops are wearing their richest tint of beauty, and the woods clothed in their most gorgeous foliage. Nowhere could one better enjoy the charms of mountain scenery or the bracing atmosphere of a harvest morning.

The Ballindalloch estate lies principally in Banffshire, but about 10,000 acres extend into the county of Moray. Roughly speaking, 2000 acres of these are arable, while there are about 7000 acres of hill pasture and 1000 acres of wood. The valuation of the Morayshire estates in 1866-67 was £2267, 7s., and now it is £2685, 2s. 10d. The land under cultivation is generally good loam resting on gravelly subsoil. The size of farms varies from 20 to 200 acres arable. A great many of the tenants have, in addition to arable ground, grazing privileges on common hill. The farm houses are principally slated stone buildings, and many new ones have been erected since 1857. A large extent of wire fencing has been constructed during the past twenty-five years. Roads over the estate are very good and well kept. About 200 acres of land have been reclaimed within the past twenty-five years and are now good arable ground. It was trenched chiefly with the spade 14 inches deep. Before reclamation, the ground was rough pasture, full of boulders, worth about 3s. 6d. per acre, and is now worth from 20s. to 25s. The total cost of reclamation, including drainage and trenching, amounted to from £20 to £25 per acre,—prospects of remuneration about 5 per cent. The land reclaimed on the lower lying grounds has been profitable to the landlord, but not on the poorer soil on the hill sides. The duration of lease is nineteen years, the tenant entering at Whitsunday to houses, old pasture, sown grasses, and break for green crop, and at the cutting of the crop to the land under grain crops. Many tenants take over from outgoing tenants, at valuation made by mutually chosen arbiters, first year's grass, grain crops, and thrashing mill, &c. When the proprietor advances money not specially stipulated for in the lease for improvements, the tenant pays 6 per cent. for drainage and 5 per cent. for building. In cases of building, the proprietor usually provides wood and slates free of cost, and the tenants pay all the other expenses, without having any claim for meliorations. Generally speaking, most of the buildings are erected by the landlord at the commencement of new leases, without interest, the tenants performing the carriage of all material free. The average rental per acre on the estate is 20s. and the extreme 30s. Rents are paid at Martinmas and Whitsunday. Servants on this property are partly married and single, and the best servants belong to the former class, as they remain in their respective places for a number of years, when well supplied with good cottage accommodation. The estate is fairly well provided with cottages. The system of rotation is arranged according to the estate regulations.

The cattle on the Ballindalloch estates are generally either pure bred Aberdeenshire cattle, or a cross breed from black polled bulls and shorthorn or cross cows, and are all reared on the farms. Sir George Macpherson Grant is the owner of perhaps the finest polled herd in the kingdom, and to it we shall hereafter refer. There are no sheep farms on the Morayshire property. There are a few crofters on the estate, who mostly work as tradesmen and farm labourers, and who generally hold their crofts from year to year without a lease. Several hundred acres of wood have been planted since 1857. Sir George farms extensively himself. During the past twenty-five years not only has the Morayshire property been vastly improved, but through the great interest which Sir George takes in the welfare of his tenantry, and latterly the energy of Mr Douglas his factor, the whole estates, both in the counties of Banff and Moray, have been greatly improved and enhanced in value.

On the Ballindalloch estates there are many well-managed and highly-productive farms. In the parish of Knockando the soil is variable, but, generally speaking, pretty equally divided between loam and light gravelly land. The farm of Tomlea, tenanted by Mr George Younie, is very carefully and judiciously managed, and the soil is partly good, but the climate is cold and late, It extends to 80 acres arable and 20 or 30 acres pasture. The rental over the districts varies from 18s. to 20s. per acre. Mr Younie is bound to the five-shift rotation. The returns of crops in a good year are as nearly as possible from 5 to 6 quarters barley and oats, the former weighing from 54 to 56 lbs. and the latter from 42 to 44 lbs. per bushel. The land for turnips is ploughed deep soon after harvest, and is harrowed and ploughed, and harrowed again before it is drilled. About 24 loads of dung with 5 cwt. dissolved bones are given per acre. Yellow turnips scarcely get so much artificial manure as swedes. Potatoes are planted only in such quantities as to meet home requirements. Mr Younie has improved about 26 acres since 1855, and the proprietor built a dwelling house, upon the outlay for which the tenant pays 5 per cent. interest. The cattle of this farm are black polled. Six animals are bred every year, and four are bought in, and all except the cows are sold when two years old. Farmers in this district breed far too few cattle. Horses are not heavy as a rule, but are hardy useful animals. Seldom does a first class entire horse travel the upper districts, and consequently farmers have not a good chance of improving the breed. More strength is required to work the land than in the "Laigh of Moray," and the general allotment is a pair to about 50 acres in the Knockando district. Almost all the foremen servants are married, with houses, meal, and fire, and £24 a year. In 1853-54-55, Mr Younie paid the first man £16, £16, and £18 respectively in the year, with the same allowances as are now given. Rents have risen about 20 per cent. since 1852. Freedom of cropping would be practically a great benefit to farmers. There were no swedes grown in this district prior to 1852.

The Spey does not form the dividing line between the counties of Banff and Moray until near Fochabers; and the greater part or 7947.230 acres of the parish of Boharm, though on the eastern side of the river, lies within the county of Moray, and so does also 1883'767 acres of the parish of Keith. In Boharm there are several good farms, which are well managed and highly productive. The farm of Auchroisk, tenanted by Mr L. W. Fraser, extends to an area of 170 arable acres and some 30 acres of pasture. The average rental of the district is about 24s. per imperial acre. The soil is various, consisting of black loam, gravel, clay, and moss. The average yield of barley on Auchroisk is from 4½ to 5 quarters, weighing from 54 to 56 lbs.; oats, from 5 quarters to 6½ quarters, weighing from 39 to 44 lbs. per bushel. There is no wheat sown in this district. The five-shift system of rotation has been prevalent in this parish for the last twenty or thirty years, and in the unanimous opinion of the farmers has reduced the fertility of the land very considerably. The soil requires more rest; and if rents were reduced in accordance with the condition of the land, the six or seven course shifts would be universally practised hereafter. This would be a very desirable change in the system of farming, from the fact that it would lessen the expenditure for manure, and also enrich and fertilise the soil. Land for turnips is sometimes dunged before being ploughed in the autumn, but most frequently immediately before sowing in spring. The cattle on this farm and in the district generally are a cross breed between a shorthorn bull and cross bred cows. The staple diet is turnips and straw, and feeding cattle are finished off with a little cake and oats. About fifteen years ago three-year-old cattle were mostly used for feeding purposes ; but since grain and other sources of remuneration have been of so comparatively little value, farmers could not afford to retain cattle so long, and therefore, in order to meet demands upon them, farmers have had to fatten and dispose of them when they are about two years of age. Sheep from further inland districts are extensively wintered in this parish, but no regular flocks are kept. Horses are good, and work at the rate of 60 acres a pair. The average wages of ploughmen run from £9 to £13 per half-year with rations. In 1876 good ploughmen were getting from £17 to £18 in the half-year. Rents have risen from 30 per cent. to 40 per cent. in this district since 1850. They are in many instances too high, considering the unfavourable climate.

The farm of Bush, tenanted by Mr Gray, is 160 arable acres in extent, and is laboured in the six-shift system. The soil is sharp and thin. Oats after lea always bulk best, and the grain weighs from 40 to 43 lbs. per bushel. Land for turnips is twice ploughed in spring, and gets from 18 to 20 loads of dung along with a mixture of bones and bone meal to the extent of from 4 to 5 cwt. per acre. The proprietor advanced money for draining from 70 to 80 acres of land, for which the tenant pays interest; and the dwelling house and farm steading have been erected during the past twenty-five years on similar conditions. Cattle are chiefly cross bred, and are fed off with turnips, cake, and corn, and weigh from 8 to 9 cwt. when fat. Horses have improved vastly since 1857, but there is still need for improvement. From 70 to 80 acres are allotted to a pair. Turnips usually yield at the rate of from 12 to 18 tons per acre, oats from 3 to 6 quarters per acre, and barley from 4 to 5 quarters. The latter is the most remunerative.

One of the best managed farms in the district is that of Stoneytown, which is 150 acres in extent, and is held by Mr M'William. The soil consists of loam, clay, and gravel, which are lying on rock and clay subsoil. The six-course shift is pursued. The average yield of oats and barley on Stoneytown is about 5 quarters per acre—the former weighing 42 lbs. and the latter 54. For potatoes and turnips Mr M'William ploughs deep in the fall, and then harrows and ploughs again in spring. It is manured in the drill with about 20 loads of dung and from 6 to 7 cwt. of dissolved bones and bone dust per acre. Since Mr M'William became tenant in 1868 he has drained a good deal, built some dykes, reclaimed by trenching about 7 acres of land, and performed the cartage of a new steading and dwelling house erected by the proprietor, for which he pays 5 per cent. interest. We shall advert to Mr M'William's shorthorn herd under the appropriate heading. He also rears and feeds cross bred cattle. Turnips and straw constitute the staple diet, with a little cake and oats to finish off. The cattle are disposed of when from 5 to 7 cwt. in weight. Home bred cattle pay best. About a score of Leicester ewes are kept on the farm, and the male lambs are sold about the 1st of October. Mr M'William has an excellent stud of the Clydesdale breed; they work about 75 acres a pair. Wages have advanced fully a third since 1855, and since then rents have been doubled in many cases. Bare fallow, which was so common twenty-five years ago, is scarcely to be met with now, and yet the land is better cleaned and manured than it was then.

The parish of Rothes, on the western side of the river Spey, covers an area of 19,234.453 acres. It contains a large breadth of excellent land, while there are also portions of inferior soil. Along the side of the Spey fertile loam and rich alluvium abound, while towards the foot of the hills coarse clay, moss, earth, and gravel are occasionally to be seen. The largest farm in the parish is Drumbain, occupied by Mr William Brown, Linkwood, Elgin, and the property of the Earl of Seafield. It is 1651 acres in extent, and is rented at £435. Perhaps the most pleasantly situated farm in the parish is that of Dandaleith, tenanted by Mr John Cruickshank. It is 407 acres in extent, the rental being £516. The soil over the farm is rich alluvium., and is well nourished by the tenant.

In the extreme north-eastern corner of the parish of Rothes, on the bank of the Spey, is the choice farm of Garbity, (This farm is now (1883) tenanted by Mr Stewart.) tenanted by Mr James Watt. It covers an area of 220 arable acres, is rented at 35s. an acre, and is carefully and skilfully managed. Mr Watt is also tenant of the farm of Mulben, in the parish of Boharm, which is 240 arable acres in extent. The soil on Mulben is of a light, blackish nature, while on Garbity it consists of fine light loam. In the district surrounding Garbity the rental runs from 15s. to 35s. per acre. Mr Watt works on the five-shift system on Garbity, and adopts the six-course rotation on Mulben. The latter system is most approved of. In good seasons wheat and barley yield about 5 quarters per acre on Garbity, on which there are no oats grown. On the farm of Mulben oats yield about 6 quarters per acre, barley 4½ quarters, The land here is rented at about 23s. per acre. Mr Watt subsoils his turnip land in the autumn with one of Sellar's diggers, grubs it in spring, and manures as heavily in the drills as possible with dung, along with from £3 to £3, 10s. worth of artificial stimulants per acre. The allowance of seed for swedes per acre is 3 lbs., and 2 lbs. for yellow turnips. About 7 acres of potatoes are grown after lea, and the usual width of the drill is 29 inches. Dung for these is spread over the surface of the lea before being ploughed in the autumn, and about 3 cwt. of manure added when they are being planted. The varieties of potatoes grown are Victoria Regents, Magnum Bonums, and sometimes Champions, and the quantity of seed varies from 10 to 12 cwt. per acre. The artificial manure is deposited by a sowing machine. Mr Watt expended £100 in building, and also made roads and drained a few acres of land at his own expense. In some of the following pages we allude to the superiority of his herd of shorthorn cattle. On the two farms Mr Watt breeds 40 cross cattle every year, and feeds them along with bought-in stock when two years old. They are tied up for feeding in October, and, weighing from 7 to 8 cwt, are ready for the market at Christmas. Besides turnips and straw, they receive cake and bruised oats. About 120 half-bred ewes are kept between the two farms, and they rear about 200 lambs. The lambs weigh about 65 lbs. in spring when fat, and are sold at about £2, 15s. each. They get about ½ lb. of linseed each per day. The farm horses are very good, and work at the rate of 80 acres a pair. Mr Watt's servants are all married, and most of them have houses on the farm. They get from £16 to £18, along with 3¼ bolls of meal, 1 ton of coals, and fully 1 ton of potatoes, each in the half-year. The rent on Garbity is the same as Mr Watt paid on entering it eighteen years ago. He thinks that farmers might work the six-shift system more advantageously than the five-course shift on medium soil, but not on very heavy land.

We have omitted to mention, however, that about two miles below the village of Rothes is the pass of Sourden, near to which is the famous Haugh of Dundurcas. The farm of Dundurcas, occupied by Mr Mantach, contains some 200 acres of good deep loam. The extraordinary flood of 1829 did not deprive this farm of its rich surface so much as it did to those lying further down the river, and consequently the land is as fertile as it is deep and friable. Mr Mantach, like mostly all the other tenants along that side of the county, adopts the five-shift course, and is a careful breeder of cross cattle, which he generally disposes of fat when two years old.

A little further down the river we reach the farm of Collie, the outmost farm in this direction, on the Seafield estates, which is tenanted by Mr Sutor. solicitor, Elgin. The land consists of a medium loam dispersed with patches of gravel and light sandy soil, being particularly light along the river bank. The farm is in capital order, and produces good crops of barley, oats, and turnips. Mr Sutor has not grown wheat for a few years, but sows barley instead, which, when grown after second year's grass, is found to be very suitable. The farm-yard manure is all spread in drills in the turnip break at the rate of about 20 yards per acre, along with 8 cwt. of artificial manure, composed of bone flour, ground coprolites, and mineral superphosphate. The cattle kept are the ordinary crosses, and are sold off fat in spring when two years old. Each cow generally fosters two calves. Mr Sutor for some years has kept a flock of high bred border Leicesters. His ewe stock consists of about five score, which have principally descended from rams of the Kinochtry stock which he purchased some years ago at the Aberdeen annual sales. The tups are sold annually as shearlings. A large lot of them averaged £16, 15s. 1d. this year (1882). They only get artificial food about three weeks before being sold. Mr Sutor has been an extensive exhibitor of sheep. In 1881 he won the first prize cup and special prize at Elgin. The whole of his horses are pure bred, and eligible for the stud book. He has been also a successful exhibitor of horses. At Elgin, Aberdeen, and the Highland and Agricultural Society's shows, in 1874 and in 1875, he won the first prize for brood mares. He also gained many other creditable prizes. Mr Sutor is not an advocate for compensation for unexhausted manures—as a lawyer merely he would welcome such a measure,—but insists that tenants should have freedom of cultivation, free sale of their produce and subjects, and at the same time be bound to farm in accordance with the rules of good husbandry.

The farm of Burnside, occupied by Mr James Bruce, extends to 365 acres, and is on the Richmond estate. The soil is chiefly alluvial, and is in a high state of fertility. The rent is £520, or nearly 30s. per acre. The five-shift course is adopted by Mr Bruce, and his farm is very productive. He uses a great deal of artificial food for stock, and his farm-yard manure, which is devoted chiefly to turnips, is of the very richest nature. From 20 to 30 yards of it is given along with 8 cwt. artificial manure per acre. He. has an excellent herd of shorthorn cattle on the farm, in all about 70 head, breeding at the rate of 30 animals every year. His cows are of the most fashionable strains, and are excellent breeders and milkers. For many years Mr Bruce's bull calves have commanded the highest averages at Forres and Perth sales. His stock bulls have been the famous "Baronet," which never left its box but to conquer; "Royal Windsor," "Earl of March," and his present bull "Knickerbocker," the champion national winner of 1881 at Stirling. In his breeding stock Mr Bruce has repeatedly won the challenge and champion cups of the Morayshire Farmers' Club, Spey, Avon and Fiddich-side Farmers' Club, and the Royal Northern Agricultural Society; and for many years has been an extensive exhibitor at the shows of the Highland and Agricultural Society, winning the first premiums for old and young bulls last year, along with the Tweeddale gold medal at Stirling. There is, in addition to the shorthorns, a few good cross feeding cattle kept, being chiefly bought in young and sold off fat when two years-old, weighing from 8 to 9 cwt. On the farm there is almost always to be found a few choice animals in preparation for the great English fat stock shows, at which he has been most successful. In 1871 Leeds presented him with a class prize and champion cup, and Smithfield with a champion cup for heifers. In 1872 Smithfield sent him a class prize and champion cup for an excellent ox bred by Mr Macpherson, Auchlochrach, Glenrinnes, in addition to which, and with the same animal, he gained the blue ribbon cup for that year. In 1873, Hull presented him with a hundred guineas plate, while in 1874 Newcastle sent him a beautiful plate. In 1878 York awarded him a champion plate; and many other trophies of lesser importance awarded to him could be recorded. The farm houses are in good order, the dwelling-house having been recently erected, partly by the landlord and the tenant.


Having completed our Morayshire pilgrimage, we now proceed to describe our recent tour throughout the county of Nairn. The general configuration of the county has already been noticed, but it may not be out of place to mention that the lower districts are thickly wooded, and present a pleasant aspect, more particularly in the autumn. The upper reaches are more of a rugged and mountainous character, and the scenery is uninteresting. We commenced our tour on the eastern border in the parish of Auldearn, which was rented at £9650, 12s. 11d. in 1866-67, and now at £10,091, 15s. 5d. The most extensive proprietor is Mr Hugh Brodie of Brodie, Brodie Castle, whose property in this parish brings a rental of £2606, 15s.

The farm of Easter Clune, occupied by Mr James Russell, extends to 700 acres, of which only 150 acres are arable. The rental in the district generally is about £1 per acre. The soil on this farm consists of a black loam, with a clay subsoil, and the climate is rather cold but dry. The five-course shift is adopted, viz., two grasses, a white crop, a green crop, and again a white crop sown with grass seeds. Corn crops yield about 4½ quarters of grain per acre, and about 300 stones of straw; turnips yield about 16 tons, and hay about 110 stones (23 lbs. per stone) per acre. The systems of cleaning and preparing land for turnips seem to be universally the same as are adopted by the Morayshire farmers. About 18 loads of dung, accompanied by about 7½ cwt. dissolved bones, constitute the manurial allowance per acre of turnip land. Potatoes receive the same treatment as turnips. Mr Russell has reclaimed about 15 acres of moorland during the past twenty-five years, and the landlord has drained about 12 acres, for which the tenant pays interest. Cross cattle are the prevailing breed. From 6 to 8 calves are reared on the farm yearly, and about 20 cattle are fattened. The heifers are tied up about the middle of October, and sold off in January, and the stots in April. Besides liberal supplies of turnips and straw, from 2 to 4 lbs. of oilcake and a little corn are given to each animal per diem. Heifers when fat weigh generally about 4½ or 5 cwt., and stots about 6 cwt. Mr Russell thinks farmers might breed more cattle with advantage. About 400 hoggs are wintered on the farm. The stud is very superior, possessing a good deal of Clydesdale blood. The customary allotment of land to a pair of horses is about 75 acres. Farm servants in this district are mostly single, being a proportion of two to one married man. Wages range from £30 to £40 a year, and have doubled at least since 1855. Cottages average about 1½ to each farm. Rents have risen about 15 per cent. within the past thirty years, and have been too high for about five years. Barley is the most profitable cereal cultivated.

Though only 67 arable acres in extent, the farm of Garlickhill, occupied by Mr Alexander Mackintosh, is one of the model farms of the day. It is rented at £109, 10s., or about 33s. per acre, and is on the estate of the trustees of the late John Gordon of Cluny. The average rental in the neighbourhood of this farm is 25s. The soil is generally very good, resting on red clay and gravel, and some patches of moss. The rotation is universally the five-shift system, but on light land three years' grass is very suitable. Barley on Garlickhill yields from 3 quarters to 6 quarters per acre, or an average of about 4½ quarters, and weighs 56 lbs.; oats return about 5 quarters, weighing 43 lbs., and rarely 45 lbs. per bushel. The stubble land, in the end of the year, is ploughed from 8 to 10 inches deep; and when the land is tolerably dry, the drills are opened at an average width of 27 inches. Twenty loads of dung are given to the acre of laud, and is spread along the drills, and in addition to this about £2 worth of artificial manure is allowed per acre. It consists of crushed and dissolved bones, a little phosphates, and about 2 cwt. of salt. For potatoes, a proportion of the oldest grass land on the farm is heavily dunged before it is broken up, and when the drills are opened about 4 cwt. artificial manure is deposited per acre. Mr Mackintosh has drained a great; breadth of land, and for money advanced by the landlord for the work he pays 3½ per cent. Five polled and five cross cows are usually kept for breeding and dairy purposes. The bull is of the shorthorn breed. The young stock are sold off when three-quarters old, as the tenant finds it more lucrative to keep a number of cows, and sell milk to the neighbouring villagers, than to keep feeding cattle. The pasture of the farm is let for sheep wintering, along with nearly one-third of the turnips, which are consumed on the field. Horses are of medium size, and well bred. Wages for farm servants have nearly doubled since 1855 on this farm. Men have from £10 to £15 with board; women and boys, £5 to £6 per half year. Rents in this parish are reckoned to have risen from 10 to 15 per cent. since 1850. Wheat-growing in this county has ceased, and more attention is devoted to the breeding and feeding of stock. Far more potatoes are grown now than twenty-five years ago. Probably the higher prices of beef and potatoes make up for the absence of wheat, while the expense of extraneous feeding-stuffs is returned in beef and manure. The tenant is of opinion that freedom of cropping, subject to the laws of good husbandry, coupled with greater liberality on the part of the proprietors in respect of permanent improvements, such as building and drainage, would be beneficial, but that everything else must be left and settled by the common rules of supply and demand.

On the lauds of Boath, the property of the late Sir James Dunbar, Bart., is the farm of Bogside, occupied by Mr William Anderson. Its total area is 103 acres, all arable, and it is rented at £2 per acre. The soil is light, and the climate good. Mr Anderson adopts the five-shift rotation. Cereals yield from 4 to 5 quarters per acre, and weigh a little over the standard measure. Turnips and potatoes grow well. Land for the green crop gets from 20 to 25 loads of dung and 6 cwt. artificial manure per acre. Cross cattle are bred and fattened on the farm. They are fed on turnips, straw, and cake, and are sold at the weight of from 5 to 6 cwt. The horses on the farm are good, and work from 60 to 70 acres a pair. Mr Anderson pays from £10 to £13 for men, and £5 to £6 for women and boys, exclusive of board. Mr Anderson thinks farmers should have liberty in cropping.

As we proceed westwards the scenery becomes more varied and beautiful, and the systems of farming more various and interesting. The parish of Nairn contains soil varying from heavy mould to light sand. The valuation of the parish in 1866-67 was £5939, 13s. 5d., and is now £7190, 14s. 1d. The principal objects of interest are the remains of Castle Finlay, of Rait Castle, and of the old chapel where the Kilravock family are buried. The Cawdor estates, which make a total area of 46,176 imperial acres, go more extensively into the parishes of Nairn and Cawdor than any other property in the county. Of the total area 5776 acres are under wood, 2920 acres arable ground, and 37,480 of moorland and hill pasture. The total rental in 1855 was £6070, and in 1881, £7930. The land over the estate is chiefly light loam, resting on gravelly subsoil. The number of farms on the property is 154, of which 27 holdings are rented above £100 and 127 under £100. Houses are generally substantial and in good order. Many of them have been built since last letting of farms, the tenants carting materials and the proprietor paying the cost of building. Since 1849, when new leases were entered upon, a considerable extent of waste land has been reclaimed by the tenants, when, in many cases, large quantities of stones were turned up, which the tenants carted to the lines of dykes laid out by the land surveyor, and built by the landlord. Previous to 1849, the whole estate was gone over by a surveyor, and the new marches of the farms were squared up. The tenants seem satisfied with the result of their reclamations, and when leases expire a rise of rent is generally obtained. Rents are payable half-yearly, at Martinmas and Whitsunday, after reaping the crop. There are some married servants on the larger farms, but very few on the smaller ones. A good many cottages for married servants and labourers have been erected during the last twenty-five years.

The farm of Easter Delnies, in the parish of Nairn, is tenanted by Mr John Davidson, and has a total acreage of 690 acres, of which 240 acres are arable, 120 acres coarse pasture, and 350 acres under wood. The rental is £170. The soil on the farm is mostly light and sandy, and is intersected by pendicles of good loam. The five-course shift is pursued. Barley returns about 5 quarters per acre, and weighs 56 lbs, per bushel; oats, 6 quarters, 43 lbs.; and potatoes about 4 tons per acre. The land is manured for roots with 24 loads of dung and 4 cwt, artificial manure per acre. Mr Davidson entered the present lease in 1873, when the farm was in bad condition, and now it is in a much better state. He got a new steading on entry, for the building of which he carted materials, and pays Government interest during the lease. The tenant breeds cross cattle in part and buys in part, feeding annually from ten. to twelve, which, with liberal supplies of turnips and straw, combined with a little nutritious cake and bruised corn, they weigh about 5 cwt. each about three months after they are tied up, when they are sold off'. He lets the pasture during winter along with a quantity of turnips. The pasture is sufficiently extensive to carry 400 sheep. A pair of horses work about 86 acres. Single farm servant men get from £10 to £12 in the half year. Under the present five-shift system the land is becoming unsuitable for turnips and grass. A recourse to the six-shift rotation would, in Mr Davidson's opinion, give better turnips and grass, and prevent finger-and-toe damaging the former.

The farm of Crook extends to 184 arable acres and 4 pasture, and is pleasantly situated on the right bank of the river Nairn. It is rented to Mr William Malcolm at £199, and is part of the property of Colonel James A. Grant, C.B. The rental in the district ranges from 14s. to 40s. per acre. On the farm of Crook the soil is of a kindly lightish nature, and is wrought under the five-shift rotation. Crops yield variously, being more apt to suffer from a deficiency of moisture than from too much. Oats and barley yield from 2 to 5 quarters per acre, and the grain, both in respect of quality and weight, is invariably good. Turnips yield from 12 to 24 and potatoes from 3 to 6 tons per acre. Land for the root crop is usually twice ploughed, grubbed, and harrowed several times before it is properly cleaned. From 20 to 24 loads of dung, along with from 4 to 7 cwt. of dissolved bones, constitute the manurial ingredients applied per acre. Potatoes are grown after two-year-old grass, which is covered in the autumn with a heavy coating of dung before being ploughed, and immediately before planting from 6 to 7 cwt. of dissolved bones are applied. Mr Malcolm reclaimed about 20 acres of low marshy ground, and the proprietor ploughed 40 acres of light land (which had previously been under wood) with six oxen during the past twenty-five years. The farm stock of breeding cattle consists of polled and cross cows and shorthorn bull. Twelve calves are reared, and in every case, when practicable, each cow has to suckle two calves. The young stock are kept in open courts till they are two years of age, when they are sold in April or May at from £20 to £24. From ten to twelve purchased cross cattle are tied up immediately after harvest, and are sold in January, weighing from 5 to 6½ cwt. each. They are fed on turnips and straw, with draff, burned ale, bruised oats, and rye. Mr Malcolm has a stud of very superior horses, which work at the rate of 70 acres a pair. There is a good deal of carting done in driving feeding stuffs from the distillery and manure from the town of Nairn. Wages for servant men vary from £10 to £15 for six months. They have risen about 30 per cent. since 1850. More cottages are required. Tradesmen's bills have also risen very greatly. Rents have advanced greatly during the past thirty years. In many cases they are too high, especially in unfavourable seasons, such as have been experienced for sometime; but fears are entertained that insufficiency of capital has something to do with the results being unfavourable. Barley is the most profitable cereal.

Househill Mains, tenanted by William H. Kelman, extends to 160 acres. It is beautifully situated, and systematically and skilfully wrought. About half the farm consists of haugh land, lying on the right bank of the river Nairn. The nature of the soil varies from fine mould to sandy loam, and the climate is mild and early. The farm steading, which was erected a few years ago by the proprietor, Colonel James A. Grant, C.B., in the most modern and approved style, is situated about the centre of the farm. Mr Kelman adopts the five-shift rotation, and grows potatoes on part of his lea ground. Crops yield pretty equally in a good season. Barley gives from 4 quarters to 5 quarters, weighing about 57 lbs.; oats, 5 quarters, weighing 43½ lbs. per bushel. In the autumn the digging and ploughing of the land for turnip crop are the leading items of labour; and after the ground is thoroughly pulverised in spring with repeated grubbing and harrowing, it receives from 20 to 25 loads of dung per acre, and from 6 to 8 cwt. of artificial manure. The latter is a composition of 2 cwt. dissolved bones, 1½ cwt. bone meal, 2 cwt. superphosphates, ¾ cwt. sulphate of ammonia, and a small quantity of guano. Mr Kelman limed part of his farm this year, giving it about 5 bolls per acre to the lightest land. If the land is clean, he ploughs down the dung for the root crops in autumn. Among the improvements effected on the farm since it came under the tenancy and management of Mr Kelman, perhaps a new thrashing machine put in by Mr R. G. Morton, Errol, Perthshire, is the most notable feature. Attached to this machine, and driven by the same steam-engine, are a chaff and straw cutter, root-pulper, corn-crusher, and corn-blast, all of which have been furnished by the same engineer. The thrashing machine, though seemingly intricate in its construction, is very simple and efficient in its working. The corn-blast attached to the mill is a very ingenious affair. The grain as it leaves the mill is blown through a wide tube, 60 feet long, into the grain loft, the tube making a right angle turn at its highest point. Being in the immediate vicinity of the burgh of Nairn, Mr Kelman has started a dairy for supplying the town with milk. This is an institution which was very much needed, and is now being esteemed. The present dairy stock is composed of about twenty cows of the best Ayrshire and cross breeds. To these very succulent food is given, as it is found to be efficacious in sustaining and improving the milking properties of the animals. Mr Kelman has also a very nice black polled bull and a number of fattening cattle. The feeding stock are kept in a commodious half-covered court. His horses are strong and active, and work from 80 to 100 acres a pair. The proprietor has planted about 2 acres of arable land along the public roadside, and has also planted from 7 to 8 acres of land on the neighbouring farm of Crook within the past few years.

On the estate of Mrs Anne Agnew Mackintosh or Walker is the large and superior farm of Heathmount, tenanted by Mr George M'Beth. It covers an area of 175 arable acres, and is rented at £283. In this district the rent of arable land runs from 22s. to 40s., whereas in the upper districts of the county it ranges from 5s. to 20s. The soil is good and the climate genial. The tenant is strictly bound to the five-shift rotation. Oats yield from 3½ to 6 quarters per acre, and are seldom under 42 lbs. in weight; barley, from 3 to 5 quarters, weighing about 56 lbs. per bushel. About 20 loads of dung and from 4 to 7 cwt. artificial manure is given per acre to land for the green crop. The implements of husbandry have undergone great improvement since 1850. Then threshing corn with the "flail" was a daily occurrence, and now the crop is all thrashed with machinery, and a great part, particularly of barley, with steam. Crops are all reaped with reapers. The proprietrix has done much in the way of improving buildings. Cattle are chiefly of the cross breed, and are sold off when fat, weighing from 5 to 6 cwt. each. Mr M'Beth buys in sheep in the autumn, feeds them on turnips, and sells them in March or April. The farm horses are good, and work from 50 to 75 acres a pair.

On the western side of this parish is the estate of Lochdhu, which is 754 acres in extent, of which there are 684 acres of arable land, 30 of pasture, and 40 under wood. In 1866-67 the yearly value of the property was £263, 18s. 9d., and now it is worth £650, 9s. 3d. per annum. Over the estate the soil varies from moss, sand, and loam to gravel. There are only two farms on the property, one 544 acres and the other 140 acres in extent. Commodious steadings have been built within the past ten years. The farms are ringfenced and subdivided with wire. There was no fencing thirty years ago. Roads generally are good. The extent reclaimed during the past thirty years is about 284 acres. The character of the land before reclamation was soft and marshy, worth about 2s. 6d. per acre, and now, since it has been efficiently drained, it brings from £1, 10s. to £1, 15s. The cost of reclaiming was about £10 per acre. The land is now productive, and gives good crops. It has been profitable to both landlord and tenant. Bents are all paid in money, but previous to 1855 they were mostly paid in grain. The five-course shift is universally adopted. The cattle kept on the estate are generally crosses. A good deal of cake is used in feeding. There are no sheep farms on the estate. There are about thirty crofters or cottars on the property. The latter pay small rents, and earn a livelihood by farm work and other labour by the day. Crofters hold the crofts on lease, and pay about £1, 10s. per acre. A great deal has been done in the way of planting since 1855.

Situated on the estate of Mr Hugh Davidson, and in the parish of Croy, the farm of Cantraydown, occupied by Mr Angus Macpherson, is one of the most skilfully managed holdings in the district. The parish was valued at £3033, 11s. in 1866-67, and in 1881-82 at £3881, 16s. 6d. The farm of Cantraydown extends to 200 acres arable and 600 pasture, is rented at £155, and partly consists of porous haughland with a prevalence of moss and gravel. The five-course shift is pursued, and in good seasons good crops of grain and roots are obtained. The land is always most carefully prepared for seed, more particularly for roots. It is also dunged heavily, and well furnished with artificial manure. Less manure is given for potatoes than for turnips. Mr Macpherson has reclaimed about 100 acres of land during the past twenty-five years, the proprietor cutting a few of the leading drains. The cattle are of the shorthorn and cross breeds, and are mostly disposed of when two years old. Sheep are kept only during winter. Horses are of the Clydesdale breed, but have not improved much of late. The common allotment to a pair is 70 acres. Servants' wages, have advanced about 100 per cent. since 1855, and few cottages have been built. Bents have risen about 15 per cent. during the past twenty-five years.

In the parish of Cawdor there is a large extent of moss and thin soil, but it also contains some fertile land. There are also extensive woods surrounding Cawdor Castle, which is one of the most perfect and time-honoured examples of a feudal fortress in the north. The scenery is truly magnificent. About the centre of the best agricultural district in the parish is the fine farm of Brocklea, which is 320 arable acres in extent, and is in the possession of Mr Robert Eraser. The rental of this farm amounts to 36s. per acre, but the average rental of the district does not exceed from 28s. to 32s. The soil on Mr Fraser's holding is a light loam on a gravelly bottom, and over the lower half of the parish the land is of a shingly nature. Large proportions of a hard blackband of heath running over a number of farms have been reclaimed by the tenants during the past thirty years. The prescribed mode of tillage on the Cawdor estate is the five-course shift, from which, however, many farmers would gladly deviate. Barley is the favourite cereal generally, as it is most adapted to the peculiarities of the climate. In ordinary years it yields at the rate of from 32 to 36 bushels per acre, and weighs from 54 to 56 lbs. per bushel, but it has not exceeded 28 bushels per acre and 53 lbs. in weight for a few years past. The land for the root crops is prepared in the usual way, and turnip sowing is generally finished by the 10th of June. The manurial dressings for these consist of dissolved bones, superphosphate, and guano, to the amount of from 2½ to 4 cwt. per acre, irrespective of a small allowance of farm-yard manure. Farm-yard manure, however, is, as a rule, nearly all required for the barley crop in spring, and hence only a small quantity is available for the root crop. The general quantity of turnips obtained per acre varies from 15 to 20 tons. There have not been many noteworthy improvements effected on this farm during the past twenty-five years, so far as land is concerned ; but over £2000 have been expended by the tenant, exclusive of £1000 by the landlord, in erecting new farm buildings. No meliorations are allowed for the tenant's outlay at any period of the lease. About forty years ago this farm was rented at less than half the present value, the present tenant's father, who was formerly occupier of it, having since then reclaimed more than one half of the holding from woods, bogs, and gorse. Cross-bred cattle from polled cows and shorthorn bull constitute Mr Fraser's herd. Of thirty cows twenty-four are used purely for breeding purposes; most of them suckle two calves, while six or seven are kept as dairy cows. The feeding stock are generally fattened on pulped food, containing a mixture of straw and chaff and artificial food. Besides this, they get an allowance of cake morning and evening, which is increased as the animals mature for the market. They weigh from 6½ to 7 cwt., and are tied up late in autumn and sold off when two years old. The farm horses of the country have improved immensely within the past twenty-five years. Better stallions of the Clydesdale breed have been travelling Nairnshire during the past fifteen years. The horses of the upper district are a small and light class, but generally work from 65 to 75 acres a pair, The "bothie" system for servants is much in use in this county, there being a universal scarcity of cottages for married men. If there had been sufficient cottage accommodation married men would generally be preferred. The assistance that can be obtained from their wives and •families in outdoor labour and barn work, gives them a preference, especially in districts where it is very difficult to get day labourers in spring, and during turnip hoeing and harvest.

Near the village of Cawdor, and on the borders of Inverness-shire, is the compact farm of Budgate, occupied by Mr Joss. The soil is light and gravelly, but the climate dry and favourable. The five-course shift is pursued. Crops yield well in moist seasons, but are frequently reduced from want of rain. Turnip land gets a liberal supply of both farm-yard and artificial manure, the latter consisting for most part of dissolved bones and phosphates. Cattle, when feeding, in addition to turnips and straw, get a limited quantity of cake and grain. Horses work at the rate of 60 acres a pair. The rent has increased much on Mr Joss's holding since 1855, and, considering the present time, it is too high. There is more attention devoted to the breeding and feeding of stock now than twenty-five years ago, but there have been no other noteworthy changes in the system of farming since then.

The Agricultural Depression in Moray and Nairn.

The agricultural depression, which has proved so disastrous in many parts of the country since 1872, has not been so seriously felt in the lower divisions of these counties as in the upper districts, south of the Spey, or in England. Moray and Nairn have lost money—in 1877, in 1879, and again, to some extent, in 1881—but the shortcomings in this respect have been light, especially over the lower half of the counties, compared with the farming financial deficiencies in the south. It would be too much to assume that there are many tenant farmers in Moray and Nairn who are in as good a position, financially, in 1882 as they were in 1876, but a considerable number have not lost more than perhaps a year's rental; whereas, in the southern and central districts of Scotland, the losses since 1872 have been nearer three than two years' rents. Of course, on heavy clay soils, which happily are not exceedingly extensive in Moray, and are nowhere to be met with in Nairnshire, there has been a much heavier drain of farmers' means than is indicated above. On very stiffly rented farms, as well as on badly drained, indifferently managed farms, more especially where working capital has been inadequate, there have also been rather heavy losses in recent years.

Rents—Leases—Rotation—Size of Farms.

Rents.—Over these counties generally, as we have already hinted, there is great variety in the value of laud. Rents rise and fall in accordance with the situation and the nature of the soil. Beginning at the most eastern side of Morayshire, we find the rental along the bank of the Spey, from Boat of Bridge to the sea, varying from 10s. to £2, 10s. per acre, the average being about 26s. Along the coast side in the parish of Urquhart, it rises higher in some cases and declines in others. It ranges from 15s. to 30s., and, roughly speaking, the average rental of the district is about 25s. In the parish of St Andrews the rent varies considerably. In the lower parts it ranges from 17s. to 37s., and averages about 25s., while in the upper end of the parish, where the land is not so heavy and the climate colder, it varies from 12s. to 25s. per acre. The soil in Drainie is stronger and the climate more agreeable, and consequently the average rental of the district is about 25s. or 26s. There is no material increase in the actual value of each acre of land since 1857, but there is a yearly increase in the rental from the feu-duties collected at Branderburgh. As high as 40s. is realised for an acre of very good land. Further west into Duffus, the "Granary of Moray," where the land is valuable and the climate favourable, the rental runs from 30s. to 40s. per acre. On Sir Archibald Dunbar's estate, the average rental is 31s., the highest being 50s. and the lowest 10s. The rentals on some of the farms on this estate are regulated to a small extent by the liars prices. For example, if the price of wheat is under 42s., £10 is deducted off the rental of one farm; if under 40s., £20 is deducted from another rent; if 55s., another tenant pays £10 of additional rental; if below 48s., £25 is deducted from the rental of another farm; if under 42s., another tenant gets a reduction of £10 from his rent; and if below 42s. per quarter, £10 is deducted from another tenant's rent. The rental of the parish of Elgin is extremely variable. It ranges from 7s. 6d. to 35s. per acre, the average being about 24s. or 25s. Throughout the western seaboard districts of the county of Elgin or Moray-rents are much higher than in the eastern parishes. The land is more fertile, and consists of sandy loam and black loam, with a gravelly subsoil. In the Alves, Kinloss, and Forres districts, where wheat is pretty extensively grown and the climate fine, the rents vary from 20s. to 60s. per imperial acre. The average, however, is from 32s. to 40s. In the vicinity of the burgh of Forres, every acre of first-class land costs the tenant 50s. Even more than this is obtained in some cases, some residents in town paying as much as £5 or £6 per acre for conveniently situated land. In Dallas parish the rental varies from 20s. to 30s. per acre. All over the upper or most inland division of the county, where wheat and potatoes are not grown to any great extent, the agricultural rental falls very considerably. In Edinkillie and Cromdale, there is a great deal of sheep pasture included with arable land, and consequently it is difficult to draw out a correct average, but generally the rent of the arable land would run from 15s. to 25s. per acre. Along the. fertile valley of the Spey the rents range from 15s. to 30s., except in the Knockando district, where there is a slight decline, the soil being rather thin and the climate uncongenial. Here rents average from 18s. to 20s. In the parishes of Rothes and Boharm rents vary from 15s. to 30s., and average from 24s. to 26s. per acre.

The rental in the lower half of the county of Nairn is similar to that in the eastern districts of Morayshire. It runs from 22s. to 40s., and averages from 25s. to 26s. per imperial acre. In the parish of Nairn it is perhaps fully 26s. on an average; in the parish of Auldearn about 26s.; Cawdor, from 25s. to 32s.; and in Ardclach, where the land is not so fertile and the climate colder, from 5s. to 22s. per acre. In this parish a great extent of hill and rough pasture is rented along with the arable land.

Speaking generally of both counties, we have to report a very significant rise in the agricultural rental. Let us contrast the total rental of each county in 1842 with that of 1880. The total rental in 1842 of Morayshire was £92,818, which in comparison with the rental of 1880, viz., £118,821, shows the vast increase of £26,003, or 38.7 per cent. In Nairnshire the total rental of 1842 was £16,010, and in 1880, £28,788. It will thus be seen that, during the past forty years, the rental of the latter county has been nearly doubled, the increase being £12,778, or 79.8 per cent. Perhaps the following table will show more clearly the substantial increase of the past twenty-five years. It exhibits the increase or decrease per cent. of the agricultural rental of Moray and Nairn during the different periods indicated:—

* The asterisk sign indicates a decrease

It will be observed that the greatest increase occurred during the decade of 1853-63, which may be attributed to the abnormal advance in prices caused by the Crimean war. The average increase over both counties during the past twenty-five years may be safely stated at 20 or 25 per cent. Some twenty-five or thirty years ago, a number of rents were paid in kind, mostly in the shape of grain. Latterly, however, all rents have been paid in money, and as a rule are collected at the 26th May and the 22nd November. In some cases they are received in June and December, and in others at Candlemas and Lammas. A hundred years ago the rent of the best farm on the Pitgaveny estate was a boll of oats, a boll of barley, and a boll of wheat per acre of arable land.

Leases.—The majority of tenants on the various estates hold their farms under leases of nineteen years' duration. Perhaps this convenient system of lease has been longer in vogue in these counties than in any other two north of the Grampians. "Life' leases, once very general, are now all but unknown. Crofts are generally held from year to year. Entry in both counties is usually obtained at Whitsunday, when the incoming tenant, as a rule, takes over at valuation from his predecessor grass, fallow, dung, and corn crops. On the Duffus estate the regulations permit of the outgoing tenant disposing of his grain crops ad libitum. On the Ballindalloch estates, outgoing tenants are bound to give over to their successors the whole of their last grain crop, the grain at the fiars prices of the county in which the farm is situated, and the straw by valuation of arbiters in the event of no fiars being struck. On these estates tenants nearly always obtain entry at Whitsunday, and the incoming tenant generally takes over first year's grass, grain crops, and thrashing mill at valuation. The regulations and conditions of farm tenancy on mostly all the other estates admit of similar arrangements being made between the outgoing and the incoming tenants. In the regulations of Lord Fife's estate, the following clause is incorporated:—"The valuations of the fallow, grass, and manure shall be made at or before Whitsunday, and shall be payable at that term. The valuations of the grain crops and straw shall be made at such times and in such manner as may be fixed by the arbiters. The incoming tenant receiving the crops and straw, and other subjects of valuation, shall out of the same pay the landlord at the term of Martinmas, on behalf of the waygoing tenant, the whole rents and liabilities then due by him to the landlord. The balance of the value of crops and straw shall be payable by the incoming tenant to the waygoing tenant, at such time or in such instalments as the arbiters may fix, provided that the whole shall be made payable on or before the 15th day of March. On the event of any farm being resumed by the landlord, or in the event of the crops by the waygoing tenant or other subjects of valuation being received by him, or on his behalf, he shall deal with regard to the waygoing tenant as nearly as may be in the same manner as may be provided for by an incoming tenant." In so far as in accordance with good husbandry, the tenants on the Fife estates, as on several other properties, have liberty to crop the arable land of their farms, during the currency of their leases, in such a manner as they think best, but in all cases they must comply with the regulations of the estate at the termination of the lease. In Nairnshire the regulations of the various estates are almost identical with those in Morayshire.

Rotation.—There is great variation in the system of rotation observed throughout these counties. Five, six, and seven course shifts are quite general, particularly in Morayshire. Taking the two counties together, we find that the five-shift course is the prevailing system; while in wheat and potato growing districts, such as Duffus and Drainie—except when prohibited by the regulations of the estate—the six-shift course is most commonly pursued. The crops in the six-shift course are—First, grass ; second, grass; third, grain; fourth, grain; fifth, turnips and potatoes; and sixth, barley laid down with grass seeds. In the five-shifts the crops are thus arranged—First and second, grass; third, grain; fourth, turnips and potatoes; and fifth, barley sown out with grass seeds. The seven-course system is by no means uncommon, although the five and six shifts are more general. In the seven-course system the crops are—Two grasses, oats, potatoes and beans, barley, turnips, and barley again. Two courses of husbandry are in several instances pursued on the same farm, the best land being worked in the six-course shift. In the upper districts of Morayshire and throughout Nairnshire, the five-course system is all but universally adopted. Many tenants, however, are contemplating changing to the six-shift course, which is deservedly gaining favour in both counties. Besides giving three years grass instead of two, as afforded by the five-shift system, it effects a decided saving of labour and manure, is easy to work, and helps greatly to ward off attacks of finger-and-toe and canker, which are frequently very destructive to the root crop. There has been no noteworthy change in the system of farm management further than that indicated as having taken place in the shifts. For several years a great deal of attention has been devoted to the feeding of cattle, which has necessitated a few minor alterations in the rotation of cropping. Beans and pease have given place to turnips and potatoes on most farms, and as will be noticed elsewhere, wheat is rapidly giving place to barley.

Size of Farms.—The lower or maritime districts of Moray and Nairn are broken up into large and moderately sized farms. Here there are few crofts, and in fact, comparatively few holdings under 80 acres in extent, except in the vicinage of towns and villages. The majority of the farms are of medium size, and conveniently laid off. The smaller classes of farms are much more numerous in the upper or hilly districts, where the

soil is pure and the climate colder; and there are a good many crofts in the inland divisions. The subjoined tables show the number of agricultural holdings of various sizes in both counties:—


50 acres
and under.

From 50 to 100 acres.

From 100 to 300 acres.

From 300 to 500 acres.

From 500 to 1000 acres.
















In 1870 the number of holdings in the various classes were as follows:—


Not exceeding 5 acres.

From 5 to 20 acres.

From 20 to 50 acres.

From 50 to 100 acres.

Above 100 acres.
















Morayshire ranks ninth in Scotland in the first and second of the above classes of holdings, and twenty-fifth in the third class. Nairn stands nineteenth in the first class, second in the second, and twenty-third in the third class.

Buildings, Drains, Fences, and Roads.

Buildings.—As we have already said, the improvements which farm holdings have undergone in these counties since 1857 is immense. Perhaps more new and commodious steadings have been erected within the past twenty-five years than can be said of any other two counties throughout the whole length and breadth of Scotland. There have been improvements effected in this way every year for the past thirty, and now, through the generosity of the proprietors and the industry of the farmers, these counties are exceptionally well supplied with farm buildings. Taking both counties into view, very few dilapidated steadings or farm dwelling-houses are to be seen. The proprietors in some cases erect the necessary farm buildings, the tenant paying 5 per cent. on the outlay along with his rent. In other instances the tenant builds the houses himself, and calculates on obtaining compensation in one form or other. The tenant invariably does the cartage of building material. On the Duke of Richmond and Gordon's estates the landlord affords

half the outlay in buildings, which consist generally of timber and slate, the tenant doing the other half. His Grace also provides his tenants with very large and excellent cottages at an average cost of from £350 to £400, and charges the tenant £3 a-year for them. On the Ballindalloch estates, where many steadings and houses have been built since 1857, the proprietor frequently provides wood and slates for building purposes free of cost, and the tenant bears all other expenses without having any claim for meliorations. Tenants usually pay interest at the rate of 5 per cent. for money advanced for farm improvements. Generally speaking, however, most of the necessary buildings are erected by the landlord at the commencement of the leases without interest, the tenant performing the cartage of all material free. On the Duffus estate the proprietor has erected most of the farm buildings, but in some cases the tenants have built farm servants' cottages, for which they are reimbursed at the end of the lease, according to agreement. The Earl of Moray's estate is exceptionally well provided with excellent farm steadings of good size, and supplied with all modern conveniences. The proprietor erected a great number of them at his own expense, while the tenant had only to provide building material. On this estate servants' cottages, which were erected by the proprietor, are abundant. The Seafield estates are also well provided for, by the proprietor, in the way of building; such improvements being carried out on similar conditions to those on the other estates. The proprietors in Nairnshire have been equally liberal and zealous in the construction of farm buildings. On the Cawdor estate the proprietor has done a great deal in the way of building since 1857. He paid for the cost of erection, and the tenant supplied materials. The Lochdhu estate is also well supplied with superior farm buildings. Drains.—Nothing affords better proof of the great activity that has characterised the farming industry of Moray and Nairn during the past twenty-five years than the well-drained condition of the farms. In this work the industrious farmers of these counties have had plenty of scope for their energies, while from the landlords they have received substantial assistance. Although the land in Moray and Nairn is to a large extent of a thirsty, sandy nature, draining less or more in every parish has been an indispensable operation. Landlords have done a great deal of draining at their own expense in both counties, besides giving every encouragement for its execution. The combined energy and enterprise of the landlords and tenants in this as well as in other respects have improved the state of their lands very materially during the interval of 1857-82. Some twenty-five or thirty years ago wide open ditches like miniature canals were frequently to be met with in the "Laigh of Moray," and especially in the low-lying lands of Duffus and Drainie. Now, however, comparatively few of these are to be seen. Low close drains have been sunk, and are proving equally as serviceable as the open ditches. There has been considerable difficulty encountered, however, in obtaining sufficient fall in these low-lying districts for underground drains. On the Duffus estates, the drainage of an unsightly marsh, known as the Loch of Spynie, which had a tendency to check the proper drainage of the districts for a considerable distance around, cost the proprietor, as well as a few of the tenants, great outlay in excavating canals for the drawing away of surface water. This still involves an outlay of £100 a-year to the proprietor, but the canals have been highly beneficial to the drainage of the district. Here the landlord keeps all open ditches clear and in working order, while the tenant repairs covered drains. In the upper parts of both counties there is sufficient fall for a most efficient drainage, and the land is kept in a very fine workable condition. The same system is adopted over the whole of Moray and Nairn. The drains are chiefly laid with tile pipes in the lowlands, but in the upper districts, where the flow of underground water is less, the stone method of laying drains has been pretty extensively adopted. In the lower divisions of these counties, especially of Moray, where the subsoil in some districts contains iron ingredients drains require frequent repairing. They last for a considerable period, however, in other soils. On the Richmond estates the proprietor defrays all expenses involved in the drainage of land, and charges the tenant 5 per cent. of interest. In short, all the proprietors in the counties have very liberally rendered their aid to their tenantry in draining, as well as in all other matters tending to improve the soil. On mossy and sandy soils the average depth of underground drains is as nearly as possible 2 feet 6 inches, on stiff soils 3 feet or 3 feet 6 inches, and leading drains about 4 feet.

Fences.—Wire is the prevailing fence throughout these counties. There has been a great improvement effected in enclosing fields during the past twenty-five years. Prior to 1857 there was scarcely a completely fenced farm to be seen, but now on every estate most secure fences have been erected, partly at the expense of both landlord and tenant. Stone dykes and hedges are the principal fences on a few holdings, but wire in most cases is found to be more suitable and convenient.

Roads—The counties of Moray and Nairn are well provided with excellent farm, district, and county roads. The length of the turnpike roads in Morayshire is 429 miles 5 furlongs and 214 yards. The total cost of maintenance for 1881-82 was £3989, 8s. 7d., and for the previous year it was £4056, 18s. 7d. The road assessment in Morayshire is 7d. per pound, and in Nairnshire 8½d. per pound.

Grain Crops.

Among the eleven "corn" counties in Scotland, viz., Aberdeen, Banff, Moray, Berwick, Fife, Forfar, Haddington, Kincardine, Nairn, Orkney, and Boss and Cromarty, Moray and Nairn rank eighth and ninth respectively as regards the percentage of the total area under corn. At present the percentage of Moray is 11.8, and of Nairn 6.7; while in the former in 1870 the percentage was 11.7, and in the latter 6.7. In reference to the subjoined table, the number of acres under all kinds of grain crops, at various periods since 1857, will be seen.

These figures show that in Moray there has been a steady increase during the past twenty-five years, but that there has been a decline of 4328 acres in the number of acres under grain crops in Nairnshire since 1857. In both counties there are large quantities of really excellent grain grown. It may be said, if a line was drawn from the extreme eastern to the extreme western point of Morayshire, keeping it at a distance of eight or ten miles from the sea, it would cut away the wheat and barley portion of the county to the north, and have the principal districts for the production of oats to the south. Wheat and barley are the staple crops in the "Laigh of Moray," while the soil in the upper portion of the county, as well as over the whole of Nairnshire, is pre-eminently adapted for raising oats. Barley is also pretty extensively grown in the Braes of Moray, and, in fact, more or less extensively over the whole of both counties. In the parishes of Duffus and Drainie, as well as other parishes, wheat was at one time more plentifully grown than now, but in most districts it has been slowly giving place to barley. Urquhart, St Andrews, Drainie, Duffus, Alves, Kinloss, and Forres are all well adapted for the cultivation of wheat. Winter wheat is sown in the end of autumn, and the other varieties as soon after the middle of the month of March as possible. The grain in the lowlands has for a number of years been sown mostly by machinery. The sowing machines are found to do the work very equally and profitably. The date of harvest varies considerably, but, as a rule, in the lowlands reaping is in full swing by the 1st of September. In inland districts, where the climate is not so favourable for the ripening of crops, it is generally from a week to ten days later. There is no time of the year that the farmers' duties are more arduous than during the harvest season. The crop is usually cut down with all possible speed, especially in the upper and more exposed districts, in order to prevent it from being shaken by the wind. When the harvest is attended with suitable weather, the crops on many farms are reaped and carted to the stackyard in less than a month. There is always a great demand for harvest hands, who, in some parts, are difficult to obtain. They generally get from 3s. to 4s. 6d. per day. The usual cost of harvesting is calculated to run from 16s. to 21s. per acre. The subjoined are the fiars prices struck at Elgin and Nairn in different years since 1831:—

As may be inferred from the great decrease in both counties during the past twenty-five years, the wheat crop is not so remunerative as it formerly was. These figures show that the acreage under wheat in Nairnshire has been growing smaller by degrees, and it is now all but totally abandoned. It need scarcely be doubted that the falling off in the acreage under wheat, in Moray and Nairn as in other wheat-growing counties, has been to a great extent caused by foreign competition. Several farmers, however, gave up the growing of wheat a few years ago in consequence of the returns per acre on their best land having had a declining tendency every successive year. In the eastern portion of Moray the average yield of wheat varies from 3 to 5 quarters per acre; in Duffus, from 4 to 5½ quarters; and in the western districts it, in some cases, reaches 6 quarters, but generally it runs from 4 to 6 quarters. The average weight of wheat over this county runs from 60 lbs. to 63 lbs. per bushel. In the year 1882 the return of the wheat crop was exceptionally good, and in some instances it weighed as high as 67 lbs. and 68 lbs. per bushel. In ordinary years the average price of wheat per quarter may be stated as nearly as possible from £2, 5s. to £2, 10s. Speaking generally, the yield of straw per acre varies from 38 to 42 stones per quarter, for which from 12s. to 16s. is obtained. In respect of the area under wheat, Morayshire stands eleventh in Scotland. When sown by the drill sowing machine from 2½ to 3½ bushels are required, and when sown broadcast from 3½ to 4½ bushels is the usual quantity required to seed an acre. The average prices of wheat, as will be observed by the foregoing table of the fiars prices, have been of a very fluctuating character for a number of years. For instance, in 1871 the average price was £2, 16s. 6d. per quarter; in 1872, £2, 5s. 1d.; in 1877, £2, 4s. 4d.; in 1879, £2, 6s. 10d.; and in 1881, £2, 5s. 3½d. It has been selling far too cheaply to pay the farmer for several years. For the past five years the average price for wheat weighing 62 lbs. has been something like 45s., whereas 50s. would be required per quarter in order to pay the cultivator. Wheat is commonly grown after turnips, although in many cases after grass, when a liberal supply of farm-yard manure, say from 25 to 35 loads per acre, is applied.

The following table shows the extent of land under barley and bere at the various periods indicated:—

It is gratifying to learn from these figures, that while wheat has been diminishing in these counties during the past twenty-five years, barley has been increasing, at any rate in Morayshire, to a corresponding extent. It will be observed that between 1857-70 there was a decrease in the area under barley in Nairnshire to the amount of 214 acres, but this may be attributed to the fact that at that time the cultivation of wheat received much more attention from the farmer than it has done in recent years. Moreover, a good many farmers in the upper reaches of the county have been devoting more attention to sheep farming during the last twenty-five or thirty years. It will be also seen that the area in Nairn, as well as in Moray, devoted to the cultivation of barley, has substantially increased since 1870. This is, doubtless, in a great measure owing to the reduction in the quantity and value of wheat grown. In the lower half of both counties barley is the staple, and most remunerative cereal, the yield and quality, after a fairly good ripening season, being as a rule excellent. Some farmers are of opinion that barley will not long continue to be the best paying cereal if it remain as low in price as it has been for some months. It is usually sown at the rate of from 3 to 4½ bushels per acre, from the second week of March to the third week of April. In the later districts it is often sown earlier if weather and circumstances permit. The annual return per acre ranges from 4 to 6 quarters, and on an average about 4½ to 5 quarters per acre. The average weight per bushel varies greatly, but in good years it ranges from 53 lbs. to 58 lbs. The average return over the whole of both counties is pretty nearly 56 lbs. per bushel. After a year of strong sun-hine, 60 lbs. per bushel of thoroughly matured barley is by no means an uncommon weight. As a rule, from 18 to 20 stones of straw is returned for each quarter of grain, and the total value of an acre of barley runs from £7, 10s. to £9. In regard to the area under barley, Morayshire ranks eighth among Scotch counties, and Nairnshire stands fourteenth. The principal varieties of barley grown are—Chevalier, common, St Medoes, and Norfolk, but the former two kinds are perhaps most extensively cultivated. Barley is generally grown after turnips, and sown with broadcast or drill sowing machine.

The total acreage under oats at various periods since 1857 is given in the following table:—

Throughout the upper districts oats are the most suitable cereal for the soil and climate, and in these parts they are, doubtless, the mainstay of both Moray and Nairn. In 1857 Morayshire stood seventeenth among Scotch counties in regard to the acreage under oats, Nairn ranking twenty-seventh. At present Moray ranks sixteenth and Nairn twenty-fifth. After a dry summer a light crop of straw on the sandy parts of these counties is generally experienced. On the more retentive soil of the inland localities it is not so easily affected by drought; but, on the other hand, the crop there has a tendency to suffer from excess of moisture. The quantity of seed allowed per acre varies considerably. On the stiffer lands more seed is required than on the ordinary light mould. From 34 to 36 bushels is about the average return in the upper districts, while over the "Laigh of Moray" and the lowlands of Nairnshire from 36 to 46 bushels per acre is perhaps slightly, but not materially, over the general average. Throughout the whole of both counties the weight runs on an average of from 40 to 43½ lbs. per bushel; it exceeds 45 lbs. in exceptional cases. The return of straw varies with the seasons, but for every quarter of grain from 23 to 25 stones, or from 12s. to 16s. worth of straw, is obtained. From 3 to 4 bushels of grain is calculated to sufficiently seed an acre, and, generally speaking, the value, including straw and grain of each acre's return, would range from £8 to £9, 10s. Perhaps more than £10 is obtained in some exceptional cases. English birley, sandy, potato, pedigree, and early Angus oats are the varieties most largely grown. Sowing is the leading operation from the middle of March to about the 20th of April. Oats are grown after lea turnips and potatoes, and sometimes two successive crops of oats are taken. This, however, depends on the rotation under which the farm is worked. The five-course shift holds sway throughout the upper districts of Moray and Nairn, and to prevent the consequent diminution of the cereal crops, artificial manure has often to be applied to them, as well as to the turnip crop.

Rye, Beans, and Pease.—In 1857 the acreage under rye in Morayshire was 766. and in 1881, 805, which shows an increase of 39 acres. On some of the poorer soils there are considerable stretches of it grown in both counties. There has been a very much larger decrease in the extent of land under beans and pease in Moray during the past twenty-five years than there has been of an increase in the acreage of rye. In 1857 there were 153 acres under beans, and 56 in 1881, thus showing a decrease of 97 acres. The extent under pease in 1857 was 181 acres, and 33 acres in 1881, which shows a falling off of 148 acres. In Nairnshire there has been a very significant decline alike in rye, beans, and pease. There were 356 acres under rye in 1857, and last year there were only 260 acres, which shows a decrease of 96 acres during these years. Of beans there were 9 acres in 1857, and 4 acres in 1881. There were 138 acres of pease in 1857, and 16 in 1881, showing a large decrease of 122 acres.

Hay, Grass, and Permanent Pasture.

The extent of hay and grass under rotation at various periods since 1857 is as follows:—

The above table indicates a very noticeable increase in the area under grass since 1857 in Moray, while there has been a considerable decline in the number of acres under grass in Nairnshire. The increase in Morayshire is in a great measure, if not wholly, accounted for by the fact, that a large extent of land, formerly worked on the five-shift course with two years' grass, is now being farmed in six shifts with three years' grass. This change, as already indicated, has been brought about mainly by the greater liability of turnips in the five-shift course to suffer from finger-and-toe than those grown in the sixth-shift rotation. A heavier crop of roots is, as a rule, obtained in the six than in the five-course system. The five-course shift prevailing over Nairnshire accounts for the decrease of 753 acres since 1857. The six-shift was more common some thirty years ago than at present. The yield of hay is very irregular, and more particularly on light land. A deficiency of clover is frequently experienced after a very dry season. In 1880, for instance, on account of the dry scorching nature of the weather in the middle of summer, the return of hay varied from 10 to to 30 cwt. per acre. This applies to both counties. The parishes of Duffus, Drainie, and Alves are the best hay-producing districts. In the former as much as 250 stones (22 lbs. per stone) per acre are grown in good seasons. The average quantity of hay returned per acre in Morayshire, in ordinary years, according to the calculations of a few judicious valuators, is about 145 stones. The average value of hay is, as nearly as possible, 1s. per stone, or £7, 5s. per acre. The quantity of rye-grass seed allowed to each acre runs from 14 lbs. to 22 lbs.; and clover, of which there are different varieties, from 6 lbs. to 11 lbs. In regard to the extent of land under grass, Morayshire stands twelfth, and Nairnshire thirtieth in Scotland.

Permanent Pasture.—There is a remarkable decrease in the acreage under permanent pasture or grass, not broken up in rotation, exclusive of heath and mountain land, since 1854. At that date there were 16,105 acres in Morayshire, and now there are only 5611. In Nairnshire the area was 9833 acres in 1854, and in 1881, 2149 acres.

Root Crops. Turnips.—The area under turnips at different periods since 1857 may be given thus:—

The figures show a perceptible advance in the cultivation of turnips in Morayshire, and a gradual but observable decrease in acreage devoted to this crop in Nairnshire since 1857. Turnips have been coming more into favour among Morayshire farmers every year. We have already alluded to the important fact of changing the rotation of many farms from the five to the six-shift course, in consequence of the tendency of the turnip crop to be attacked by finger-and-toe. Moreover, the six-shift rotation entails less cost, both in labour and manure, than the five-shift course. With the six-shift course the land gets a longer rest from turnips than in the five-shift rotation, and therefore the crop is supposed to be more vigorous and better able to protect itself from the disease; a change to the six-shift would thus seem advisable. In favourable years a heavy crop of turnips is generally raised. The roots, as a rule, are very superior in point of quality. Swedes are extensively cultivated, being the most nutritive and best for feeding cattle. The yield of turnips varies from 14 to 25 tons per acre; in exceptional cases as much as 27 and 30 tons are returned. The value per acre of good turnips, when carted off the farm, varies from £8 to £10, which is at the rate of from 9s. to 12s. per ton. When turnips are consumed on the farm by sheep, the average cost per acre is reduced to from £6 to £7, it being calculated that sheep, while netted on the turnips, manure the land to the value of £2 per acre. If consumed by cattle on the holding, a little more money is obtained than when eaten by sheep. Generally speaking, swedes are from £2 to £3 per acre more valuable than yellow turnips. The majority of farmers sow their turnip seed above a liberal supply of farm-yard manure and an admixture of artificial stimulants. We have previously specified the quantities given to the acre on the leading farms. Turnips are generally sown from the 10th of May to the second week of June. About 2 lbs. of yellow turnip seed is the general allowance per acre, and about 3 lbs. of swedes. The drills are usually from 27 to 29 inches wide. Singling commences in the latter end of June, when there is a great demand for day labourers. The plants are generally left from 8 to 10 inches apart. In the fall of the year a comparatively small proportion of the root crop is stored in low-lying seaboard districts. In inland localities the winters are, as a rule, too severe for leaving roots in the ground after the middle of December, and consequently farmers are obliged to store them. When severe frosts prevail, and especially in the absence of snow, the root crops in the lowlands are frequenty more or less damaged. Most lowland farmers furrow up land to the drills at the approach of winter, but this system is not sufficient to fully protect the roots from the effects of frost, although it favours the development of the bulbs during winter. It would undoubtedly be advantageous if a much larger portion of the crop was stored early in the season. Some store their roots in pits in the fields, and others drive them to the farm steadings and store them there. In regard to the extent under turnips, Morayshire stands ninth and Nairnshire twenty-fifth in Scotland,

Potatoes.—The following table gives the area under potatoes at various periods since 1857 :—

An extraordinary decrease thus appears in Nairnshire, being more than half the acreage of 1857. Then the potato trade, like the growing of wheat, was much more flourishing and remunerative than it has been in recent years. The greatest decrease, it will be observed, occurred between 1857 and 1870. The increase in Morayshire is by no means remarkable, considering the suitability of the lower half of this county for the cultivation of potatoes, the great convenience as regards railway communication, and the proximity to the seaports, &c. The yield of potatoes varies with the nature of the soil and other

conditions. Except to farmers in close proximity to, a railway station, potato farming has not been very profitable for a number of years. In 1740 the potato was introduced into this part of the country, and was then regarded only as a luxury. The esculent was cultivated with care in the most favoured situations of the garden, and served along with fruit at the table of the opulent as a vegetable of the greatest delicacy. Now, potatoes form a large portion of the food of the poorest classes. In the upper divisions, and, in fact, on a number of farms in the lower sections of these counties, potatoes are grown only in such quantities as are required for home consumption. The best yield is not always obtained from the best land, but, on the contrary, it sometimes happens that the heaviest crop is grown in light soil. This is regulated to a large extent by the season. On farms where a great quantity of potatoes is grown, the planting and lifting operations entail great labour. They are usually planted from the middle of March till about the third week of April, from 10 to 13 cwt. of seed being allowed to each acre. Potatoes receive similar treatment to swedes, being liberally stimulated by both farm-yard and artificial manures. Not a few farmers spread the farm-yard manure over the stubble-ground, and plough it down in the autumn, but in the majority of cases the dung is driven straight from the court and spread along the drills in spring. Potatoes are grown after oats and lea. When they are grown after lea, less dung is applied than when planted after oats. In some cases dung alone is given, and in exceptional instances the crop is laid down solely with artificial manure. Disease sometimes plays great havoc with this crop, and on the large farms, in potato-growing districts, a considerable loss is sometimes sustained. When prices are good and the demand fair, the potato crop is one of the most speculative of all the farm crops grown in these counties. The average yield over both counties runs from 3 to 6 tons per acre, and the lowest profitable selling rate is about £3 per ton. The price, however, has been much under this for a few years, At present, for instance, a ton of good potatoes could be purchased at from £1 to £1, 10s. For some time past there has been great stagnation in the potato trade, and consequently there is no profitable outlet for the abundant crop of 1881. The varieties most extensively cultivated are Regents, Victorias, Champions, and Blues. The crop of 1882 is universally good in these counties, both in respect of quantity and quality, but disease has broken out, unfortunately, in some parts. When potatoes are unusually cheap, as they have been for the past year, many farmers use them as food for cattle and horses. As potato-growing counties, Morayshire ranks sixteenth, and Nairnshire thirty-first, in Scotland.

Other Green Crops and Fallow.—In 1857 the area under all other varieties of green crop was 838 acres, made up of 12 acres of mangolds, 3 of carrots, 28 of cabbage, 2 of rape, 100 of turnip seed, 409 of vetches, and 284 of bare fallow in Morayshire, and 2 acres of mangolds, 3. of cabbage, 11 of turnip seed, 125 of vetches, and 90 of bare fallow—making a total of 238 acres in Nairnshire. The extent in 1881 was, mangolds 15 acres, carrots 2, cabbage and rape 5, vetches, &c, 487, and bare fallow 105—in all, 614 acres in Morayshire. In Nairnshire there were, vetches, &c, 40 acres, and bare fallow 79—making a total of 119 acres. It will be observed that there is a considerable reduction in the number of acres under bare fallow since 1857, in both Moray and Nairn. Vetches are extensively used in both counties for the feeding of cattle, when grass gets scarce in the end of the grazing season, and before the turnip crop is ready.


The number of cattle of the different classes in the two counties at various periods since 1857 is shown in the following table:—

In the returns of 1857 the class under" two years" comprises calves only.

These tables exhibit great irregularity in the total numbers of cattle in each of the four years mentioned. Between 1857 and 1870 there was a decrease of 610; between 1870 and 1876, an increase of 2249; and between 1876 and 1881, a decrease of 629 in Morayshire. Notwithstanding the alternate rise and fall in the total numbers since 1857, there is, taking all in all, as will be observed, an increase of 1010. In Nairnshire, however, the movement has been in the opposite direction. There is a total decrease of 2906 since 1857. Excepting a temporary attack of cattle disease in some parts of Morayshire in 1876, Moray and Nairn have long enjoyed almost perfect immunity from cattle disease of any kind. Even in that year the loss was not extraordinary, although several tenants sustained considerable damage in their stock. In 1876 the number of cattle visibly decreased, and in 1877 the total number was only 23,689, being 1181 fewer than in the spring of the previous year. For a time the movement of stock from one county to the other was strictly prohibited. The disease was scarcely felt in Nairnshire. So much seems to have been done prior to 1857 in the direction of improving cattle in these counties, that comparatively little room was left for improvement since then. It may be stated, however, that farmers have been more careful and considerate in selecting their breeding stock for some twenty years past than they had formerly been. This has undoubtedly conduced to a more perfect and profitable system of stock rearing. The general stock of cows partakes largely of the shorthorn stamp, although many farmers have excellent stocks of black polled cows. Well-bred polled and shorthorn bulls are almost the only sires used. The most popular system of breeding is to mate the polled bull with cross cows, but in numerous instances shorthorn bulls are used amongst polled as well as cross-bred cows. As a rule, the choicest animals are derived from the former union. Farmers are careful to select well-bred sires, and must also have good forms and character, as well as good pedigrees. Over the lower half of Moray and Nairn the fattening of cattle deservedly receives more attention than it did twenty-five years ago. There has been a great increase in the number of fat cattle annually turned out on almost every lowland holding since then. In the upper districts farmers breed cattle much more extensively than those in the lowlands, in consequence of these districts being better adapted for breeding and rearing than fattening. Lowland farmers, as our report has already showed, generally, in autumn buy in lean stock, mostly from one to two years old, from the upper districts, and fatten them during the following winter. Most farmers in the lower districts find this buyiug-in system to be more profitable than home breeding. Perhaps this has been the best paying system in recent years, when good store yearling cattle were to be had at moderate prices; but it is now believed, since store cattle have become very scarce and dear, that tenants in the lowlands would find it advantageous to breed more cattle than they do. On farms that are well sheltered, attached to a stretch of permanent pasture, and in which there is good and comfortable court accommodation, which most of the more modern steadings have, the breeding of cattle might, with profit, be carried on. No doubt the manure made by young stock is not so rich or efficacious in maintaining the fertility of the soil as that made by feeding cattle, but this would be made up for in other respects. In the fall of the year Irish calves or stirks are usually abundant in this part of the country, and can be bought at from £5, 10s. to £8. These, as a rule, pay the feeder remarkably well. Except those in the vicinity of towns or villages, where milk can be profitably sold, few farmers who are not extensive cattle breeders keep more cows than supply milk for the farm. In many cases two suckling calves are reared by one cow. There are a good many pure-bred herds of no small celebrity in Morayshire, which shall be noticed hereafter. As to the number of cattle, these counties rank seventeenth and thirty-first respectively in Scotland. It is necessary to mention that the buying-in system so extensively pursued exclude hundreds of animals from the above tables which are fed within these counties. On nearly all the principal farms there is at least one commodious cattle court, and in a great many of the recently erected farm steadings there are two, partially roofed with slates. They are usually of sufficient size to accommodate from eight to sixteen cattle, and in several instances even more. Where there are two courts, one is occupied by cattle nearly ready for the slaughter-house, while the leaner stock are kept in the other, until the fatter ones are sent away, when the half-fed animals are transferred into their fold, thus making room for an additional contingent of lean stock. It is the aim of most farmers to have the lot of cattle destined for court-feeding pretty equal in size, in order that they might share equally in the food provided for them. Polled cattle are found to agree better than horned cattle while feeding in folds, but both kinds thrive very well, when well bred.

Cattle Feeding.—The general custom is to take cattle intended for fattening off the grass immediately after harvest, at which time they are usually in good condition. They are tied up and fed liberally with vetches and straw, and a moderate supply of turnips. They are gradually brought on to turnips, which, after a short time, along with straw, are fully supplied, forming the staple food during winter. Much care and attention are devoted to the regular feeding of stock. After the feeding cattle are a short time on yellow turnips, a mixture of swedes and yellows is given, and thus the animals are gradually accustomed to the richer variety, of roots. The gradual change prevents any disarrangement or check which might result from a sudden transition from one kind of food to another. Many farmers give cake or bruised grain all winter along with turnips and straw or hay, beginning with a pound or two per head per day, and increasing the allowance to 3, 4, or perhaps 5 or 6 lbs., as the animals approach maturity. A great many, however, give no artificial food, except during the last six weeks or so, when they give 2 or 3 lbs. of oilcake and 2 or 3 lbs. of bruised grain, generally oats, Indian corn, or rye, to each animal per day. Some farmers use large quantities of pulped food, consisting of cut turnips, straw, and chaff, along with some artificial material, all fermented together. It would be well, we think, if this system of preparing food were more extensively pursued. Cattle put up to be fattened receive at the outset from 70 to 100 lbs., or perhaps more, of turnips per day, with about 1 lb. of cake and corn. As the animals progress, the allowance is curtailed to from 60 or 80 lbs. per day, when the supply of artificial stuffs is increased to several pounds. The earlier housed animals are usually ready for the Christmas markets, when two-year-olds weigh from 6 to 8 cwt. Fat cattle come into the market all through the season, from Christmas to May, when three-year-old heifers, prime fat, weigh from 5 to 7 cwt, and stots from 6 to 9½ cwt. each. Young cattle, during the winter, principally subsist on turnips and straw. The selling rate of fat cattle varies very considerably. In 1857 the average rate per cwt. was from 64s. to 66s.; in 1872, 78s. to 82s.; and in 1881, from 72s. to 74s. In the spring and summer of 1882 it rose greatly, and at different periods during these two seasons it exceeded 80s. per cwt.


While there has been vast improvement effected in the breeding and rearing of cattle in these two counties during the past twenty-five years, the breeding and rearing of horses have also received increased attention. The desire to improve the breed of horses seems to have sprung up about 1820, and for many years good streams of Clydesdale blood have been playing freely within these counties. There are many excellent horses of pure-bred Clydesdale blood to be met with in the lowlands, but there are also many animals of a mixed breed. It is desirable, however, that farmers should be still more careful in the selection of stallions. The stock of mares is good, and when mated with high class Clydesdale sires seldom fail to produce excellent stock. The number of horses in these counties at various periods since 1857 is given in the following table:-—

The total increase between 1857 and 1881 is 100 in Morayshire, but it may be mentioned that in 1880 there were 62 more horses than in 1881. This decrease of 62 in one year may be accounted for by the fact that there were fewer foals in Morayshire last year, owing, doubtless, as much to the agricultural depression as to the great stagnation in the horse market, In recent years the demand for agricultural horses has been too slow, and prices too small to compensate the breeder. The very material falling-off in the number of horses in Nairnshire since 1857 is partially traceabe to the already mentioned fact that sheep farming is gradually gaining ground in the upper districts. Not a few Clydesdale mares have been imported to this county for breeding purposes, yet horse breeding has been carried on to a very limited extent. The number of acres allotted to each pair of horses varies in accordance with the soil. In the lower half of both counties a pair of strong active horses work from 65 to 80 acres; while in the higher districts, where the soil is stiffer, from 50 to 60 acres is the general allotment. It must be admitted that though Moray and Nairn are on an equal footing with most other Scotch counties as regards the character of their horses, there is still room for improvement in this class of farm stock. In respect of the number of horses, Morayshire stands eighteenth in Scotland, while Nairnshire ranks twenty-eighth.

Pure Bred Herds of Polled and Shorthorn Cattle.

Numerically, the pure bred herds of cattle in the counties of Moray and Nairn are of secondary importance to those of many other counties in Scotland, but they occupy a high position in respect of merit. Both polled and shorthorn herds are here and there to he met with, and happily there are prospects of both breeds becoming more popular in the future. The existing herds are of a very rich and meritorious character, possessing, it may be said, all the characteristics—contour, quality, and symmetry—that adorn the respective breeds. The shorthorn blood is undoubtedly most thickly disseminated in Morayshire; but, taking all in all, the black polled breed is perhaps the best in point of quality. These are the direct descendants of the ancient "Doddies" and Buchan "Humlies," the native polled cattle of the north-east of Scotland. Almost every large farmer in Morayshire has at least got one specimen of the shorthorn breed in his possession, and there is invariably a close and keen competition at local shows.

Polled Cattle.

Black polled cattle are found to be well adapted for cold and late climates, being hardier than any other breed excepting the shaggy-coated Highlanders. The first eminent breeders of Aberdeenshire cattle in Morayshire were—Messrs Brown, Westertown; Collie, Ardgay; Paterson, Mulben; and Sir George Macpherson Grant, Bart., M.P., of Ballindalloch. The first-named gentleman was a well-known judge of polled cattle, and his animals, through careful breeding and judicious feeding, stood invincible in large competitions. Mr Brown was about the first to introduce the breed into this county. Mr Paterson was also a successful breeder. He commenced to breed in 1846. A celebrated cow, "Mayflower," representing his herd, carried the first prize at the Highland Society's show at Perth in 1861. He had also a bull, "Prince of Wales," bred by Mr Brown, which was first at Aberdeen and Stirling. "Mr Collie (says Mr M'Combie) was one of the most dangerous men to face in the showyard I have ever encountered." Mr Collie's herd had a famous showyard career; and the ox which gained the Smithfield prize, exhibited by Mr M'Combie, Tillyfour, in 1864, was bred by him. These herds are now extinct, except Sir George Macpherson Grant's, which is by far the oldest in the north—as it is said to have been in existence as far back as 1820—and it has never been more flourishing than at present.

Ballindalloch Herd.—It appears that the history of the origin of the Ballindalloch herd has been lost in a cloud of antiquity, and no record by which it can be ascertained when the herd was founded has been kept. In the year 1850 Sir John Macpherson Grant, father of the present proprietor, purchased two celebrated animals, viz., "Matchless," at £30, and "Victor 2nd" (47), at £20, at the Tillyfour sale of pure-bred cattle. Although Sir John was careful in his selections of stock, it was not until 1861, when the herd came under the management of its present owner, that its improvement received full attention. Prom that year it has advanced steadily, until it has attained a degree of perfection which most herds never reach. No better proof of its vast improvement, since the herd first began to engage the attention of the present baronet, can be had than that afforded by the result of local exhibitions. In 1861 only four first and two second prizes were gained by its representatives; while in 1879 and 1880 they won no fewer than forty-two first prizes, four special money prizes, thirteen cups, seven medals, and eighteen second prizes. Sir George's first purchase was "Erica" (843), which he acquired at the Earl of Southesk's sale in 1861 for fifty guineas. Another exceedingly valuable cow, "Jilt" (973), was bought from Mr M'Combie, Tillyfour, in 1867, for seventy guineas. She won the second prize at the Royal English Agricultural Society's show at Newcastle, and also the second at the show of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1865. "Sybil" (97), which won the first prize at the show of the same Society at Dumfries in 1870 was purchased for sixty-three guineas at the Castle Eraser dispersion sale. The principal additions that have been made since then were "Pride of Mulben" (1919), purchased at Mulben in 1876 at ninety-one guineas; "Kindness of Ballindalloch," purchased at Drumin in 1873; "Rose 3rd," purchased at Westertown in 1874; "Madge 2nd" (4180), bought at Aboyne, 1879; "Kate Duff," obtained from Rothiemay in 1881 for 155 guineas; and "Blackbird 3rd" (766), selected from the famous Gavenwood herd. The earlier sires were "Craigo" (260), after a Balwyllo bull, and out of a cow bred at Keillor; and "King Charles" (236), bred at Southesk, after Druid (225), and out of Cathleen (339); "Trojan" (402), purchased at the Tillyfour sale in 1865 for fifty guineas, an animal of very great excellence was next introduced into the herd. He was after Black Prince of Tillyfour (366), and out of the Paris cow, Charlotte (203). He won the first prize as a yearling at Stirling in 1864, while he won the leading ticket at the Morayshire Farmers' Club show at Elgin in 1865. According to a private catalogue, "Trojan" did more good to the Ballindalloch herd than any other bull that has been in it. He was undoubtedly the first bull that gave the females the characteristics by which they came to the top in a few years after his advent, and brought out fully the special features that make the Ballindalloch type so popular with the public. Subsequent sires used were " Victor " (493); the champion bull " Juryman " (404), bred in the herd, after Bright (454), and out of Jilt (973); "Scotsman" (474), bred at Tillyfour, out of Zora (1228), and after Jim Crow 3rd (350); the Erica bull "Elchies" (263), sire Juryman, dam Eisa (977); the Erica bull "Elcho" (695), sire Juryman, dam Erica (848); and "Judge" (1150), which won the gold medal at Paris in 1878, after Scotsman, and out of Jilt. "Trojan," "Victor," "Elchies," "Juryman," "Elcho," and "Judge" were the most valuable stock bulls. This celebrated herd is noticed at considerable length in Macdonald & Sinclair's recently published volume on the History of Black Polled Aberdeen or Angus Cattle. The herd

at present (according to a private catalogue) contains eighty-one females, representing sixteen different families. The great attraction in the herd has long been, and still is, the Erica family, of which there are twenty-eight cows and heifers, headed by the famous Highland Society prize cow "Eisa" (977), and "Eva" (984), the former now in her sixteenth year, and the latter in her twelfth. The next family are the Jilts from Tillyfour, of which there are five females, including "Juno" (3374), the third prize cow at Glasgow this year (1882). Then follow in the catalogue ten cows and heifers of the Pride branch of the Queen tribe, headed by those magnificent cows "Pride of Mulben" (1919), and "Kindness" (1412), ten and eleven years respectively, and breeding remarkably well. The next family are the Lady Fannys, which number twelve cows and heifers. The Miss Burgess family, if not very long pedigreed, are true breeders, and thick, well-furnished cattle. They are represented by three cows and heifers; the Nosegays, of good old material, by the same number; the Westertown Rose family by four; the Rothiemay Georgina family by three; the Tillyfour Nymph family by two ; the Bogfern Sybil family by one—"Sprite," the second prize cow at Glasgow this year. The other families, represented mostly by individual animals, are the Coquette, the Heather Blossom, the Madge, the Blackbirds, the Marias, the Strath more, Beauty, &c. The bulls at present in service are the 225 guinea Erica prize bull "Young Viscount" (376), the first prize Highland Society's Jilt bull "Justice," the cup winner at Aberdeen and Inverness this year. Sir George refused the very tempting offer of £1000 by Lord Dunmore at the recent Inverness show for this famous animal. The two-year-old Jilt bull "Julius" (1819), winner of the fourth prize at Glasgow this year; the Bride bull "Petrarch" (1258); and the Erica bull " Sir Evelyn," which won the second prize this year at Glasgow, besides a number of first prizes in the north.

Mains of Advie.—In Strathspey there are several very fine herds of Aberdeenshire cattle. A herd of this breed was founded at Mains of Advie some twenty years ago by the late Mr Charles Grant, farmer. Mr Grant's original purchase was "Old Rose of Advie" (3104). after Craigo (260), and out of a pure Aberdeenshire cow. "Old Rose" in the same year she came to Advie produced a heifer calf by the Southesk-bred bull King Charles (236). This calf was named "Rose of Advie" (3105), was the dam of "Dandy of Advie" (3106), after the Queen bull Trojan (402), bred at Tillyfour after Black Prince. "Dandy," now fifteen years old, turned out one of the finest cows of the breed. Besides being a grand specimen of the massive, short-legged, wealthy-fleshed, beautifully-haired cows, she is an excellent breeder. The class of cattle reared by Mr Grant since the nucleus of the herd was formed has been the envy of breeders throughout the country, and most successful in showyard competitions. Owing to the death of the originator of the herd, Mr Charles Grant, it was dispersed on the 3rd October 1882, and the prices obtained were—

Mains of Aberlour.—The nucleus of the distinguished herd of pure bred Aberdeenshire cattle, the property of Mr William Robertson, Mains of Aberlour, was formed in 1842 by the purchase of two cows, by the present Mr Robertson's father, from the then celebrated black tribe at Dandaleith. Through the intimacy of the late Mr Robertson with the late Mr M'Combie of Tillyfour, and through several transactions which he had with him, a good deal of the "Tillyfour blood " was infused into this herd in its infancy, which, combined with the fact that a good many of the young stock had sprung from Ballindalloch tribes, soon brought Mr Robertson's herd prominently into notice. Herd books were unknown for some considerable time after the commencement of Mr Robertson's herd, and we consequently lack sufficient data for going fully into the early history of the cattle. The first cow registered was "Susan" (166), the daughter of which "Belle" (631) was sold to Mr Adam Sweethillock, in whose name she was exhibited, and carried the first prize at the Morayshire Farmers' Club show. From its earliest days the herd has contained many excellent specimens of the breed, and its representatives gained an enviable reputation at local exhibitions. In 1856, at the first show of the Spey, Avon, and Fiddochside Farmers' Society, Mr Robertson's cattle took a high position against representatives of the herds of Ballindalloch, Drumin, and Mulben. An excellent bull, bought from the late Mr M'Combie in 1846, very much improved the stock. "Windsor 2nd" (812), bred by the late Mr Brown, was a superior animal, and gained many valuable prizes before coming into Mr Robertson's possession. His sire was Windsor (221) which was sold at £180, and his dam Lady Ann (307), bred at Tillyfour, and out of a cow which carried the first prize at the Highland Society's show. The character of

the herd has been maintained since it came under the management of the present owner, although the animals have been seldom shown. Marked with great purity and excellence of outline, cattle from this herd have won prizes at both local and national shows. One important point is well sustained in this herd which should be the aim and object of all breeders to retain, and that is the milking properties of the cows. The first bull purchased by the present owner was "Marius" (564). He gained the first prize at the Highland Society's show in 1865. The next purchase was "Bognie" (513), bred by Mr Morison of Bognie, and having been subsequently sold to Mr M'Kessack, Earnside, carried first prizes at Elgin, Nairn, and Inverness shows. He was succeeded by "Jester" (472), bred at Ballindalloch, and being out of Jilt, was half brother to the famous trio of bulls, Juryman, Judge, and Justice. He gained a large number of prizes. "Jestia" (798), was bred at Drumin, and was stock bull for one year. He almost conquered wherever he was shown. The celebrated bull "Cluny" (1285), bred at Ballindalloch out of the fine cow Erica, which was second at the Paris Exhibition, and the winner at several other shows, was bought by Mr Robertson. The bulls used in the herd during the past five or six years were "Morayston" (1439), out of the prize cow Forget-me-not (1685), and after Adrian (622); "Souter Johnny" (1615), out of Moonlight (1479), and after Ardrian 2nd (622); "Whig" (1867), a pure-bred Erica bull, recently sold to Major Smith, Minmore, at 100 guineas, out of Elma (3368), and after Editor (1460). The present stock bull is Paris (1473), which won the first prize at the Paris Exhibition in 1878. At present the herd consists of 39 females, 2 balls, and 4 bull calves, containing specimens of the Ballindalloch Jilt family, the Ballindalloch Ericas, and the Drumin Lucy's.

Ballintomb.—The fine black polled herd of Ballintomb, the property of Mr Alexander Mann, was started in 1875. The first bull was "Brux" (947), by Harry 2nd (770), and out of Annie of Westside (2032), purchased from his breeder Mr Walker, Westside of Brux, Aberdeenshire, and commencing with cows selected from Ballindalloch, Westertown, Biallid Corskie, Tullochallum, Rothiemay, and Burnside herds, Mr Mann, with careful buying and judicious breeding, has brought the herd to a highly creditable position. It contains 23 cows, 8 two-year-old heifers, 9 one-year-old heifers, 23 calves, and 2 bulls, and comprises representatives of the Pride, Erica, Coquette, Rose, Fatuna, Duchess, and Baby tribes. Mr Mann has all along guarded against feeding his cows for show purposes, and with close attention the result has been very satisfactory. He entered the showyard first in 1880 with his young stock, and although he has only been exhibiting on a limited scale, since then he has been a very successful exhibitor. In 1880 Mr Mann purchased from Ballindalloch the fine (Pride) bull "Kaiser" (1253), by Elchies (563), and out of Kindness of Ballindalloch. This bull gave rise to an excellent stock of cattle, and carried the commended ticket at the Highland Society's show at Stirling in 1881. The present stock bull is also of the Pride tribe, and was bred by his owner after St Maurice (1319), and out of Madam Lofters (2231), bought at Rothiemay in 1878. He has distinguished himself in showyards, and imparted very superior progeny. He is well-shaped, having a broad straight back, good shoulders, deep well-sprung rib, and fine general outline. Mr Mann made a happy hit at the Tillyfour sale in 1878 in procuring "Mrs Scott," a pure stamp of a Buchan cow, which will doubtless be the dam of a rare family. She has already produced three capital heifer calves, viz., "Madame Sherrington," "Isabella Eraser," and "Songster." The former is particularly good, but is a trifle small. At the Balquharn dispersion sale last spring, Mr Mann secured " Pride of Aberdeen 27th," by Drayor (1170), out of Pride of Aberdeen 10th (3250), and shortly after she came into his possession she gave birth to a heifer calf after Heir of Paris (1917). Mr Mann also purchased a cow of the Duchess tribe named "Dandelion" (2569) at Lord Huntly's sale at Aboyne. She yielded him a fine heifer calf by Warrior (1291). His last purchase was the Erica cow "Emma" (1733), and her bull calf at foot, from Ballindalloch, which is after the very celebrated bull Justice (1462), and evidently inherits many of his good points. This year Mr Mann sold eleven bull calves at £30 each for exportation to America. Earnside.—Mr M'Kessack, farmer, Earnside, Alves, has been a careful and successful breeder and rearer of black polled cattle for many years. Thirteen cows, 5 two-year-old heifers, 5 yearling heifers, 2 two-year-old bulls, 1 one-year old bull, and 4 bull calves, constitute the present herd, and these animals bring out largely the good points of the breed, which are indispensable for showyard exhibitions, and which bring animals to the front in local competitions. The success of the herd in the showyards of the past has been very satisfactory to the owner. Mr M'Kessack is a judicious feeder, never endangering the breeding properties of his stock by feeding up for exhibition. Even for animals intended for exhibition, nothing beyond the ordinary diet of turnips and straw is given them until within a few weeks of the show. His heifers are really an excellent lot, and are mostly all in calf to a nice two-year-old bull recently purchased from Mr Duff, Hillockhead. Mr M'Kessack breeds all his purebred stock with exception of a few animals, and he has a better bull of his own breeding than the Hillockhead one, his dam being "Term Day 2nd" (3174). His sire is Don Juan (1555), which is also the sire of all the heifers. "Florence 2nd" (2144), by Cock of the North (1211), and out of Florence (928), has extraordinary milking properties, and is the grand-daughter of a fine cow bought from the late Mr Brown of Westerton. "Fair Maid of Earnside 2nd" (4509) by Scotia (789), and out of Fair Maid of Earnside (3716), which won many prizes in local shows. She is a cow of fair merit. "Maid of Moray 4th" (4510), by General (1297), and out of Maid of Moray 3rd (3711), is a shapely cow of good character, and was very successful in showyards as a heifer. One of the best cows in the herd is "Queen Mary of Mulben" (1043), after the Mayflower tribe, by Jupiter (471), out of Ann of Mulben (1039). Mr M'Kessack bought her, when two years old, from Mr Paterson, Mulben, at 50 guineas. This was supposed to be an extraordinary price then. The value of this cow lies in her breeding. She gave birth to twin calves four consecutive years. Another famous milk cow is "Julia of Earnside 1st" (2116). "Barbara of Earnside" is a descendant of the Easter Skene stock, her dam Barbara 2nd (989) having been bought from Mr Combie, Easter Skene. This year Mr M'Kessack sold three black polled cows for £150 for exportation to America.

Shorthorn Cattle.

Gordon Castle.—Established in 1842 by the purchase of three cows and a bull in Northumberland, "Young Bess," "Bet," " Sally," and "Monsieur Vestris," this large and useful herd has for many years enjoyed a wide reputation as the fountain of pure " shorthorn " blood. Under careful and judicious management, the herd has long been famous for its representation at both local and national exhibitions. Mr Dawson, the present manager, is watchful and successful in breeding, and, with all the advantages derivable from a liberal owner, like His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, he has very creditably sustained, if indeed not raised, the character of the stock. The bull "Monsieur Vestris" and "Young Bess" were bred by Mr Jobson of Turvielaws, after the second Duke of Northumberland, bred by Mr Bates. The other two of these cows, which laid the foundation of this herd, were bred by Mr Aitkinson of Ewart, from whom they were purchased. His Grace's family of Wimples, Blossoms, Flirts, and Jilts, which, together with Destiny, Queens, and Mysteries, may be regarded as one race, the founder of which was "The Queen," and was extracted from the Ury herd in 1847, are very superior. A grand-daughter of "The Queen" and the first of the Flirts added 14 calves in fifteen years, and was herself disposed of, fat in her eighteenth year. By a purchase at Mr Boswell's herd of shorthorns at Kingcausie in 1852, the Lustre family was brought to Gordon Castle, where its members proved the Lustres to be sound, regular breeders, strong, well-fleshed animals. The first of the Rosewoods, one of the best and oldest tribes in the herd, was a cow, "Rosewood," purchased at the Eden sale in 1854, when two years old. The Rosewoods were all notable breeders, and the first cow produced 10 fine heifer calves in ten years. They were also famous for depth of rib, wealth of flesh, and superior milking properties. The matron of this tribe, "Rosa," won a second prize at Kelso in 1863 as a yearling, first as a cow at Inverness in 1865, and was sold at 74 guineas. One of the most valuable additions was made to the herd in 1875, in "Queen Esther," purchased for 71 guineas at Mr Bowman's sale at Sandwith, Cumberland. She was almost pure Booth blood, being after Squire Booth, bred by Mr Mitchell of Cleasby, "Lustre," after the Booth bull Royal Hope, bred by Mr Pawlett, was the dam of Chief Lustre, a well-known heifer after Chief Officer, which gained many valuable prizes. The sires used in the herd have been of the famous Matalini and Fame tribes, 'including "Royal Hope;" and were these "Chief Officer," after Borough Member, "White Duke," "Baron Colling" and "King Butterfly!" These have all done valuable service in the herd. The present stock bull is "Good Hope," after Peter the Great, out of Fairy Queen, and bred by Lord Polwarth. He won the first prize in his class at Banff, Turriff, and the Highland Society's show at Stirling, in 1881. The principal prize takers at the shows of 1882 were—"Good Hope," "Queen Esther" (a broadly built cow of excellent shorthorn character), "Peach Blossom 10th," after Chief Officer and out of Peach Blossom 6th, and "Peach Blossom 14th," a tidy red two-year-old heifer, and a yearling heifer "Chief Lustre 1st." His Grace has not been showing quite so extensively this year as he had formerly been. As an indication of the high character and superiority of the Gordon Castle stock, I may mention that in 1877 it won no fewer than thirty-eight first prizes, ten seconds, five silver medals, and two silver cups; and in 1878 forty-two first prizes, twenty second prizes, four silver challenge cups, eight silver medals, and thirteen special money prizes. In the same year "Chief Lustre" was exhibited at Kilburn, and won the second premium.

A word as to the home of the herd may be of interest. The home farm of His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon at Gordon Castle, Fochabers, extends in all to about 1000 acres. Within the walls there are about 805 acres, excluding 500 acres of deer park, and outside there are some 45 acres of arable land and about 150 acres of riverside pasture. Only about 450 acres are wrought under a regular rotation, the five-course system being pursued. About 405 acres of beautifully level grounds lie around the castle, and are studded over with magnificent trees. Of these about 200 acres next to the castle are run over with the mowing machine early in the autumn. On the arable land turnips are grown, with from 16 to 20 large cart-loads of well-rotted farm-yard manure and 4 cwt. of bone dust, mixed with 3 cwt. dissolved bones or turnip manure. The cultivated land is mostly light on a gravelly subsoil. In addition to the pure bred shorthorn herd, about 20 dairy cows are kept. A large flock of Leicester breeding ewes is also kept. The stock tups are carefully selected from the very best sources, and for a number of years His Grace has been a very successful exhibitor of sheep as well as cattle. There are also a flock of Cheviot sheep on the farm. His Grace is a generous and considerate landlord, and during the recent depression he was amongst the first to grant concessions.

Stoneytown.—The shorthorn herd at Stoneytown, Boharm, belonging to Mr M'William, was founded some eleven years ago, and contains about 20 animals, all well bred. The first purchase was a distinguished Gordon Castle cow, "Dido 3rd," after Duke of Bowland (21568), and descended through her dam from one of the first shorthorn cows that came to Gordon Castle from Mr Jobson's herd in Northumberland in 1842. Among the other female animals which have been added from time to time, were "Goldie 17th," purchased in 1875, at 61 guineas, from Uppermill, after the celebrated bull Heir of Englishman (24122); "Maud," from Sunbank, by Baron Outhwaite (36197); and "Merry Maiden," from Alnwick Park, by Mr Forr's Fitz-Roland (33936), which left an exceedingly fine stock at Alnwick and Chillingham. From these four cows all the animals constituting the present herd have descended. The bulls used have been " Alfred" (32935), from Petty; "Spicer" (35655), by Mr Booth's K.C.B. (26495), from Clinterty; "Knickerbocker" (38510), from Dalkeith Park; "Favourite" (41528), from Burnside; and "Sir William" (44061), by Mr Booth's Sir Raymond (40716) from Alnwick Park. All these bulls have been prize winners at local shows, and two of them, "Knickerbocker" and "Favourite" have taken first honours at Highland Society's shows. The present stock bull is "Sir Thomas," roan, bred at Alnwick Park, and after Sir Raymond. He is a stylish, evenly-fleshed young bull, with fine full rib, and superior quality. He has been very successful in large competitions, including the Glasgow Highland show this year, and we have no doubt but he will yet come more prominently into notice. The original purchase, " Dido 3rd," is still in the herd, and, although she is fifteen years old, and has reared her fourteenth calf, which was an excellent roan bull by Sir William, she looks quite fresh and healthy. She excels both as a breeder and milker. A very nice low-standing cow is "Dido 4th," out of Dido 3rd, which has carried prizes at various local shows. "Dido 5th" and "Dido 6th" came from the same dam, the former being after Knickerbocker and the latter by Favourite. They are a pair of very useful breeding cows. "Goldie 17th" was bred by Mr Marr, Uppermill, from whom she was purchased at 61 guineas. She is a cow of fine quality, and is an excellent breeder. One of her descendants is "Golden Rose," by Knickerbocker, a thick handsome cow, inheriting many of the fine points of her famous sire. Another of the same tribe is "Golden Wreath," by Favourite, a white two-year-old heifer of very promising style and quality. She was first at Aberlour, second at Keith, and commended at Elgin Cattle shows in 1881. "Eliza," a very nice roan cow of the Coulardbank blood, after Garioch Lad (17938), is a specimen of good character. In 1881 the calves were nearly all bulls, and were disposed of mostly by private bargain at handsome figures.

Braelossie.—The Braelossie herd of shorthorn cattle, the property of Mr Alexander Lawson, factor for Lord Fife, was founded in 1840, by the purchase of a yearling heifer, "Eliza," sired by Billy (3151), and out of Princess by Sovereign (5285), and bred by Mr Hutcheson, Monyruy, Peterhead. The principal addition to the herd in its infancy, whose stock still remain, was "Shempston Lass," bred by Mr Sutherland, Shempston, from stock bought from the late Captain Barclay of Ury. She proved a very valuable acquisition, and in the course of eleven years she produced eleven excellent calves, eight of which were males and three females. From time to time several cows were subsequently added to the herd, but they fell behind the home-bred stock in breeding, and Mr Lawson disposed of them, and retained his own females, and by changing his stock bull was able to raise a much stronger and finer race of cattle. The bulls used in the herd since the beginning were —"Duke of Gordon" (9043), bred by Mr Cruickshank, Sittyton, Aberdeenshire; "Duke of Leinster" (10155), bred by Mr Todd, Elphinstown; "Sir George Brown" (40705), bred by Mr Bruce, Broadland; "Lord Raglan" (29199), bred by Mr Geddes, Orbliston; "Glenlyon" (26262), bred by Mr Longmore, Rettie; "Vampire" (30201), bred by Mr Cruickshank, Sittyton; "Baron Braco" (30425), bred by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon; "Waverley" (35955), bred by the Duke of Buccleuch ; and the present stock bulls "Loftcha" (45052), bred by Mr W. S. Marr, Uppermill; and "Gambetta" (40986), a yearling bull after Arthur Benedict, and out of Flirt 14th, bred by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. All of these bulls, excepting the latter, did good service in the herd, and had been more or less successful in local showyards. Matched with cows of excellent character, they give rise to a very superior stock, which gained considerable distinction in different parts of the country. "Baron Braco" was the sire of Lord Bothwell, which won several champion cups. The herd at present consists of 26 cows, 1 aged bull, 3 yearling bulls, 2 two-year-old heifers, 11 one-year-old heifers, and 21 calves, thus making a total of 64 animals. "Loftcha," the aged bull, is the sire of most of the heifers and calves. Excepting this bull, all the herd are the descendants of "Eliza," "Shempston Lass," and "Myrtle 27th." "Myrtle 27th " is after Ben Voilo (28017), and out of Myrtle 20th, and is still in the herd. There is still a good remnant of the Waverley stock in the herd. Mr Lawson is an exceedingly careful breeder, and is very much opposed to overfeeding for exhibition. He generally disposes of his bulls at public sales, and purchasers who are acquainted with the excellence of his stock never fail to make a good offer.

Sunbank—Of the Sunbank shorthorns not so much is heard as of some others. It is not a large herd, nor is anything done in it specially to draw notice to its merits in showyards. It has been in existence for fully twenty years, and has been carefully and successfully managed. To found it, "Dowager Countess" was bought from Coulardbank in 1861. She was an eight-year-old cow at that time, and had sprung from the finest family in Mr Stephen's fine old. herd at Coulardbank. It was the oldest family in Morayshire, if not in the north of Scotland. Mr Stephen was the first man who took over the Spey a shorthorn that founded a family. He believed that Mr Mellis, Spynie, bought a heifer before him, but nothing was heard of it afterwards. Mr Stephen's "Countess," which he brought from England about 1836, was the first of the tribe that proved of so much value at Coulardbank, Inchbroom, Sunbank, and many other places. They were descended from "Carnation" by Apollo, and from cows by Merlin (429), Alfred (23), Butterfly (104), and Suwarrow (636). "Dowager Countess," bought by the late Mr Ray to found the Sunbank herd, produced a calf the first month she was in Mr Ray's possession, but slipped next year and went to the butcher. Her calf of 1861, however, "Countess" became a handsome cow, after a son Picotee (15063), red in colour and good in figure. Round her there soon arose offspring that made a considerable herd,—"Verbina" in 1863, when her dam was only two-years-old; "Rosebud" in 1864; "Flora" in 1865; "Pope" in 1866; "Wilhelmina" in 1867; "Sultan" in 1868; "Sarah" in 1869; "Nancy" in 1870; "Red Knight" in 1871, which was sold at £35, 14s. From this cow and her descendants every animal in the herd came, for the first seventeen years of its existence. The first female that came into it was "Duchess 10th," from Gordon Castle, which did not remain long in it. Mr Ray had the advantage of the Inchbroom bulls until the herd there was dispersed. After that he had "Baron Outhwaite" (36197), bred at Newton of Struthers after Baron Killerby, and descended on the maternal side from the Myrtles that came from Fashion by Emperor, and cows by Cleveland (145), and Butterfly (104). The next stock bull was "Robin" (43908), son of Baron Outhwaite, and out of a Gordon Castle Duchess by Baron Colling (25560). The present stock at Sunbank is full of the Gordon Castle blood, and contains a number of very superior cattle. (Owing to the death of the owner, this herd has been dispersed since the above was written.)

Garbity.—The Garbity herd of shorthorns, the property of Mr James Watt, was founded in 1864, by the purchase of a cow "Tidy" at the Huntly Lodge sale. She was bred in England, and was well advanced in years before Mr Watt obtained her. The first addition was "Marchioness," purchased at the Inch-broom dispersion sale, where she brought the highest price of the cows, having won the second prize at the Highland Society's show at Inverness when a two-year-old heifer. Mr Watt has still some of her stock in the herd. To begin with, Mr Watt got the service of the Gordon Castle bulls, which infused a deal of excellent Booth blood into the very foundation of his herd. He bought a cow and heifer from Mr Meade Waldo of Stone-well Park, Kent, about five years ago, along with a couple of bulls. He has these still in his herd, and all of them have done fairly well. The bulls are still the stock bulls of the herd, and the two females have been breeding regularly. Strange to say, their calves have all been males excepting a female this year. One of the bulls is a "Flower" bull, and the other of the "Waterloo" tribe. A cow which Mr Watt obtained four years ago from Mr Fisher, Pitlochry, proved a very valuable animal, having fostered many fine calves. She was sired by the famous Royal Benedict, and is out of an Anette cow, and has had three or four bull calves in succession. At present the herd comprises 15 cows, 6 two-year-old heifers, 15 calves (four of which are bulls), and 2 bulls, or about 40 in all. Among the heifers is "Dorothy," after Fitz-Harry and out of Molly, an Inchbroom cow. Through her sire she has Booth blood in her veins, and is a very perfect animal. She won the first prize as a yearling at the Highland Society's show at Stirling, and at Elgin last year (1881), and as a two-year-old at Elgin this year. Another fine heifer is "Wild Rose," after Captain Cook, bred by Mr Gumbleton of Glanatora, Co. Cork, Ireland, is also in Mr Watt's possession. She was first at the Royal Dublin Society's show, and first at Glasgow, Elgin, and Inverness this year (1882).

"Selina," a yearling heifer after Fascinator, out a Selina cow, and bred by Mr George Cater, Londonderry, is a fair heifer. Mr Watt has hitherto disposed of his bull calves at public sales, and his average prices invariably stood very high. He has been devoting more attention to the breeding than to the feeding of stock, but though he has never exhibited on a large scale, his cattle have won a great many valuable prizes. At the Highland Society's show at Aberdeen Mr Watt won a second prize for a bull, at Kelso a second for a heifer, and the same heifer won second at Stirling, where Mr Watt also won the first and fourth tickets with other animals. He has gained a great many prizes at local shows for his older stock. For bull calves he won a second and third prize this year at Perth, and a first prize in 1881.

Swine, Poultry, and Markets.

Swine.—The rearing of swine in both counties receives comparatively little attention from the farmers. There are usually one, two, or three pigs on every farm, and in many cases they are reared in courts among young cattle. Breeding sows are kept on some holdings, as well as by millers and distillers, and the young pigs are usually taken away when about five weeks old. Then they are generally worth from 11s. to 16s. each. The breeding and feeding of swine undoubtedly deserve much more attention than they receive. Breeding sows, as a rule pay their owners very well. In order to show the number of swine at different periods since 1857, we subjoin the following table:—

These figures bring the fact clearly out that there is an extraordinary falling off in the number of swine within the past twenty-five years. In Morayshire, it will be observed, there is 1461 of a decrease, while in Nairnshire there are not much more than half the total number of 1857.

Poultry.—There are a great many famous poultry breeders in Moray and Nairn. Farm-yards are usually well stocked with fowls, and a considerable revenue is derived from them. Poultry reared at various places in both counties have oftener than once taken prominent positions in the prize lists of large poultry shows.

Markets.—Like other northern counties, these two are well provided with markets and auction marts. Elgin, Forres, Grantown, and Nairn are the chief seats of cattle markets. Grantown market is the principal one for sheep for Morayshire, and also for the upper reaches of the counties of Inverness, Banff, and Nairn. Some of the better class of farmers in the lower parts of Morayshire, as well as regular dealers, kill cattle and send them to London as dead meat. They generally find this the most profitable way of disposing of beef. The cost of transmitting dead meat is considerably lower than that of live stock.


There is a lack of ordinary farm servants in these counties, but, as we have already noticed, in some districts there is a great difficulty experienced in getting a sufficient supply of labourers.

During potato planting and lifting, hoeing, and harvesting, farms in the vicinity of towns or villages have little difficulty in getting day labourers; but in some of the more inland districts casual workmen are not so plentiful as could be desired. There is still a deficiency of servants' cottages, although much has been done in the erection of them within the past twenty-five years. It is a very essential matter indeed to have good accommodation for married men. It is very probable that great and needful improvements will be effected in providing servants' cottages in these counties before many years have come and gone. Tenants fully realise the value and need of them. A well-known farmer in the "Laigh of Moray," in referring to the scarcity of cottages, remarks—"Advertisements too frequently appear in newspapers wanting first-class horsemen, married, without encumbrances." Generally speaking, single men are most plentiful, and the majority of these sit, eat, and sleep in "bothies." Several of them board in the farm kitchen, and with married fellow-workmen. Married men have been getting more numerous within the past few years. The rate of wages in 1855 was about an average of 70 per cent. less than in 1878; but since then, on account of the agricultural depression, the cost of labour has fallen at least 15 per cent. On a farm in the neighbourhood of Elgin the tenant paid the following half-yearly wages in 1855 and 1881:—

in each case of about 6 bolls of meal (140 lbs. per boll), 24 cwt. of coals, and 1 ton of potatoes per annum, and a quart of milk daily. Grieves get from £30 to £40, and more if any extra responsibility devolve upon them; but average wages would be about £32, with the same allowance or perquisites as the horsemen. In many cases the wages in 1880 were double those of 1855. Married men in cottages have also a garden in most cases. In every case single men do not get potatoes in "bothies," but the principal meals are oatmeal porridge, oatmeal brose, and cakes. They usually sell a good deal of the meal allowed them, which is invariably more than they can consume, and purchase other commodities, such as tea, coffee, butter, bread, and fish, &c. Harvest hands, like ordinary farm servants, are paid according to their undertakings and capabilities. Including all, the wages of married men would range from £46 to £49 in the year. The ploughmen are, as a rule, an industrious, trustworthy class of people, and usually take a great interest in furthering everything that tends to benefit their masters. Women for kitchen work get from £6, 10s. to £8, 10s., and outdoor girls get from £4, 10s. to £6, 10s. There are very few women engaged for outwork now, because it is found more advantageous to engage young men. Taking all in all, it cannot be said that wages are at present too high.

Sheep Farming.

In the lowlands of these counties sheep farming does not constitute an important industry, although there are many large flocks of cross and half-bred lambs fattened during the winter season. An occasional breeding flock is to be seen where there is a run of links or waste land attached to the arable holding. Twenty-five years ago, perhaps, the breeding of sheep received more attention, but now the breeding and feeding of cattle have superseded it to a certain extent. Farmers find it most lucrative to buy in lambs at the weaning season, when, after a good lambing season, they are to be got in all parts of the country. If grass is found to be plentiful, the lambs are bought in as early after weaning as possible, and kept in parks during the fall, by the end of which there is almost invariably a patch of turnips laid off for them. In addition to turnips, feeding flocks get hay or straw daily, which is supplied in hurdles on the field. Where there are commodious open courts, flocks are sometimes fed in them with cut turnips, straw, or hay, and when well advanced in fattening, they receive a little cake or corn. The ordinary allowance of cake and corn, besides a liberal supply of turnips and fodder, is from ½ lb. to 2 lbs. per sheep per day. It is not lambs only that are fed. Large numbers of wethers and eild ewes—generally cast ewes—are also fattened. The same system of feeding is adopted for these as for lambs.

Too many disastrous years have occurred since 1857. The losses sustained at various periods were irreparable and disheartening. This has been more severely felt in the higher lying districts, where the climatic influences during winter are disastrous to both animal and vegetable life, and where the many untoward seasons, which have passed within a comparatively short period, have left an impression and gloom on the mind of the flockmaster that will not be easily suppressed. The rate of mortality among flocks, and more particularly lambs, between 1870 and 1881, was remarkably high. It is so far gratifying, however, to have to note that the winter of 1881-82, which was quite exceptional in its character, has helped greatly to revive the spirits of sheep farmers. Lambs are more numerous, and much stronger and healthier this year (1882), than they have been for years, while the prices for all kinds of sheep are remunerative. The death-rate has been comparatively insignificant. Since the beginning of the present summer the weather has been favourable to vegetation, and hill pasture, as well as that on cultivated land, has been most luxurious.

At various periods during the present century handsome profits have been realised from sheep farming. It was a lucrative industry twenty or thirty years ago, but in recent years the price of wool, the cost of wintering, and other circumstances, as well as the seasons, have affected it considerably. The price of mutton has advanced greatly, but the gain on this point has been more than counterbalanced by the increase in the cost of maintenance—rise in rent, in the cost of living, and in the cost of labour—coupled with the decline in the price of wool. Then the average death-rate has lately been higher than formerly, and on the whole the position of sheep farmers has undergone a marked change for the worse within the past ten or twelve years.

The system of management pursued by sheep farmers in these counties can hardly be said to differ in any respect from that which prevails generally over the north of Scotland. In the colder districts smearing is preferred to dipping. As the following statement will show, the former plan is, as a rule, more profitable than the latter. Sheep not smeared require two dippings in a year, and these cost 30s. per 100 head — 14s. for the material, and 16s. for the dipping operation—being 2s. per day to four men on each occasion. Smearing has to be done only once a year. It costs 10d. a head, or say 85s. for 100 head. Then the yield of wool from dipped sheep (blackfaced) would average about 3 lbs. per head, or 300 lbs. from 100 head; whereas from smeared sheep the weight of wool would be exactly double. In 1881 dipped or white wool fetched 6d. the pound, and smeared wool 5d. per pound. The advantage in favour of smearing is thus seen to be of some importance:—

Smearing 100 sheep once costs . . . .,£4 5 0 Dipping twice,.......1100

Extra cost of smearing, .£250

Value of wool from 100 smeared sheep, . . £12 10 0 Do. do. dipped do., . . 7 10 0

Extra value of smeared wool, £h 0 0 Net gain in smearing per 100 sheep, . . £2 15 0

It has in addition to be noted, that smearing is a much surer preventative against vermin and contagious diseases. The cost of wintering sheep when sent from home is about 5s. 6d per head. Hoggs sell best in the month of April, and cast ewes and wethers in September and October.

In Morayshire, in 1857, there were 56,336 sheep, of which 25,315 were for breeding purposes, 12,947 of all ages feeding, and 18,074 lambs. In 1868 there were 49,848 one year old and above, and 27,899 under one year old, which makes a total of 77,747. In 1881 there were 32,557 one year old and above, and 16,030 under one year, making a total of 48,587. It will thus be seen that there is the enormous falling off in the total number of sheep in Morayshire of 7749 since 1857. This substantiates what has just been stated.

In Nairnshire there were 16,875 breeding sheep, 7896 of all ages feeding, and 11,214 lambs in 1857, which makes a grand total of 35,985. In 1868 there were 17,160 sheep one year old and above, 7156 under one year old, and a total of 24,316. In 1881 there were 12,002 one year old and above, 3978 under one year old, and a total number of 15,980. The difference between the total of 1857 and 1881 in this county is even greater than in Morayshire, but there was a very notable decrease in the end of 1880 and first of 1881. The total number in 1880 was 20,108. It must be understood that though there is a very noticeable decline in the numbers thus set forth, sheep farming in the upper districts is carried on with greater interest than it was twenty-five years ago, and that the falling off is principally caused by reducing flocks in the lower districts. The great reduction in the numbers of young stock is directly the fruits of untoward seasons.

Industries—not Agricultural.

We have taken up so much space with the agriculture of these counties, that we must limit our remarks on other industries. The chief of these are the herring and white fishing along the Moray Firth. Beginning at Garmouth, the most eastern village in Morayshire, we find that no fishings are now carried on; but Mr James Duncan established a boat-building institution last year, and during the short period of its existence ten or twelve boats of the carrel-zulu shape have been built.

At Lossiemouth about 120 boats are in use every season, each boat having at least two men aboard. The average value of each of these boats is about £250. For the last twenty years there has been a falling off in the quantity of fish caught. During that period the annual catch averaged about 100 crans per boat. From 1858 to 1863 the catch averaged about 200 crans, being a very successful fishing period. The value of the fish, generally speaking, has been about £1 per cran for the past twenty-five years. Some fishermen prefer taking a bounty of from £20 to £40 for the season, instead of their chances by the cran. The majority of fishermen, however, are paid by the cran. In a good fishing season this is undoubtedly the most profitable way of engagement. The proper season for the herring fishing commences about the 10th of July, and lasts till about the 10th of September. Sometimes the fishermen go 40 or 50 miles on fishing expeditions, while fish are at other times to be found within two or three miles of the shore.

The white fishing is prosecuted nearly the whole season. About fifty boats, manned by about seven fishermen each, pursue this fishing, and the average return is as nearly as possible 6 cwt. per boat. White fish are usually worth about 12s. per cwt., thus making the draught of each boat worth about £3, 12s. Lobster fishing, to a small extent, is carried on by a few men. The fish are generally sent to English markets. The portions of the sea nearest to the combined villages of Lossiemouth, Bran-derburgh, and Stotfield are very good for their yieldings of lobsters; and about half a century ago people came from North Sunderland and Berwick-on-Tweed to prosecute the lobster fishing, and were very successful. The harbour of Lossiemouth was founded in 1835 by Colonel Brander, Pitgaveny. The principal importation is wood from America and the Baltic, and coals from different parts of the country. There is no exportation of any moment, excepting that potatoes and some grain are occasionally shipped for England.

At Hopeman there are 33 boats employed at haddock fishing, and the fish are generally sold to the curers when caught. The number of boats engaged in the prosecution of the haddock fishing some twenty years ago was not more than half the present number, but the total catch was considerably higher. About 70 herring boats belong to Hopeman, but very few of them are employed at this station. Fishermen find it more profitable to go fishing at other parts of the coast. The harbour at Hopeman is by far too small to facilitate the development of the fishing resources, it having been built some forty years ago, when boats were fewer in number. A good deal of money has recently been expended from time to time on repairs.

Burghead is an important fishing station, and has been for a great number of years. In 1857 there were 93 boats engaged, and the number of men employed was about 600; while in 1882 there were only 36 boats and 260 men engaged. This implies a material falling off in the catch, which in 1857 was 93 crans, and in 1882, 53½ crans. The harbour was constructed about 1807, and since then has undergone frequent repairs. At present it is being remodelled and very much enlarged, and in the course of a year or so it will be one of the safest harbours along the Moray Firth. White fishing is also carried on here to a small extent. Fourteen large and small boats are engaged by about 130 men, and the average catch is about 400 tons in the year. In this village about twenty or thirty men are employed in the Morayshire Chemical and Manure Works, the property of Mr William Adam.

There is an extensive fishery trade carried on at Nairn and Campbeltown, and has been for many years. The most important fish caught is herring. White fish consist of haddocks and codfish. The burgh of Nairn charges the fishermen 4s. as stance dues for their boats, and a compromise of 20s. per yawl engaged in white fishing. The fishing boats belonging to Nairn and Campbeltown at 10th October 1882 were—

The number of men engaged, besides a crew of five men for two boats—a large and small one—were 205 in Nairn and 60 in Campbeltown. Each man has three assistants for gathering bait, putting it on to hooks, curing, hawking, and going to the market with fish; and there are also 615 women, boys, and girls employed in Nairn and 180 in Campbeltown, which, added to the number of men engaged, make a total of 1060.

Average Value of Herring Boats and Nets.

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