a surname derived from Doomster, an ancient name for judge or executioner.
It is of great antiquity in Scotland. The honourable office of dempster of
parliament was long heritably enjoyed by the old family of Dempster of
Muresk, Pitliver, &c., who were free barons and proprietors of the lands
of Carolstoun, Auchterless, &c., in Aberdeenshire, before the middle of
the fourteenth century. David Dempster of Auchterless and Carolstoun, who
lived in the reign of King David the Second, is one of a perambulation of
marches near Arbroath in 1370. His son, Andrew, got the office of dempster
confirmed to him and his heirs by a charter under the great seal from
Robert the Second; but his son, David, third baron of Carolstoun, resigned
the office of dempster to the abbacy of Arbroath in September 1460.
of Muresk having squandered away the greater part of his estates, fell
into vicious courses, and on April 20, 1620, he was tried and found guilty
of forgery and falsehood, and beheaded at Edinburgh in consequence. “The
frequency of the crime of forgery,” says Mr. Pitcairn, “during some years
preceding the date of this trial, seems to have induced the public
prosecutor to make several severe examples. Not a few of the criminals
were persons of considerable rank in society, who, by desperate courses,
had been reduced to the worst shifts to procure the means of subsistence.”
[Criminal Trials, vol. iii. p. 487, note.]
The family of
Dempster of Skibo, in Sutherlandshire, are descended from James, second
son of James Dempster of Muresk, living in 1574, and representative of
David Dempster of Auchterless and Carolstoun. The first of this family,
Mr. George Dempster of Dunnichen in Forfarshire, (a short memoir of whom
is subsequently given,) purchased the estate of Skibo in 1786, and Mr.
John Hamilton Dempster, his younger brother, shortly after purchased the
estates of Pulrossie and Over-Skibo. Their grandfather, a merchant in
Dundee, had bought the estate of Dunnichen about 1700. That estate
ultimately came into the possession of James Hawkins, Esq., advocate.
Hamilton Dempster of Skibo was succeeded by his daughter and heiress,
Harriet Dempster of Dunnichen and Skibo, born in 1786. She married in
1801, William Soper, Esq., of the East India Company’s service, who
assumed by royal license the surname of Dempster, in compliance with the
entail of the estates. Mrs. Dempster died in 1810, leaving a son, George
Dempster, Esq. of Skibo, and four daughters. The third daughter,
Charlotte, was married in 1830 to James Whiteshed Hawkins Dempster, Esq.
of Dunnichen, and died in 1842.
a learned historian, was born at Brechin in 1579, and studied at Aberdeen
and Cambridge. He early went to Paris, and taught classical learning in
the college of Beauvais. He was of a quarrelsome disposition, and as ready
with the sword as with the pen. Having publicly whipped one of his
scholars for challenging a fellow-student to fight a duel, the young man
brought three of the king’s life-guards into the college, when Dempster
made all his pupils take arms, and, after hamstringing their horses at the
gate, compelled the three warriors to sue for quarter, and confined them
for several days close prisoners in the belfry. In consequence of this
affair he was obliged to quit Paris. Proceeding to England, he married
there a woman of uncommon beauty, who eloped with one of his scholars
after his return to the Continent. He afterwards read lectures upon polite
learning at Nismes, became professor of philology at Pisa, and
subsequently at bologna, where he died in 1625. He had such a prodigious
memory that he acquired the name of ‘The Living Library.’ He was the
author of numerous learned works, of which the following is a list:
nuptiis Jacobi Comitis Perthani et Isabellae unicae Roberti Comitis
Wintonii filiae. Edin. 1608, 4to.
Jacobi Vassorii Parisiensem rectoratum. Paris, 1609, 4to.
dictum post Telemachum, Petri Valentis. Paris, 1609, 8vo.
Kal. Jan. Paris, 16120, 4to.
victrix Academia. Paris, 1612, 4to.
Romanarum corpus absolutissimum in quo praeter ea quae Joannes Rosinus
delineaverat infinita supplentur, mutantur, adduntur ex critcis, et
omnibus utrinsque linguae auctoribus collectum; poetis, oratoribus,
historicis, jurisconsultis, qui laudati, explicati, correctique. Paris.
abrogatus tragoedia. Paris. 1613, 8vo.
Jacobo M. Britanniae Regi. Lond. 1615, 4to.
Januar. 1616, ad illustriss. virum Jacobum Hayum Dominum ac Baronem de
Saley, &c. Lond. 1616, 4to.
Professorum, sive Praefatio solennis habita. Pisis, postridie Kal. Novemb.
1616. Pisis, 1616, 4to.
sive Gamelia ludiera in Sponsalibus Principis Urbinatum. Flor. 1616, 4to.
illustrior seu mendicabula repressa. Lugd. 1620, 8vo.
cives sui S. Bonifacius rationibus. Joannes Duns ratinibus 12. Bonon.
Sectorum in quo nullus nisi Scotus gente aut conversatione quod ex omnium
gentium monumentis pio studio Dei gloriae, Sanctorum honori, Patriae
ornamenta, &c. quartum aucta, Sancti, Beati, Papae, Cardinales,
Patriarchae, Reges, aut Regum Liberi, Apostoli Gentium, Monasteriorum
extra Scotiam fundatores, Archiepiscopi et Episcopi, Abbates extra
Scotiam, Academiarum fundatores. Viri domi et tota passim Europa, omni
scientiarum genere illustrissimi, Haeretici pauculi confutantur. Bonon.
Historiam Scoticam, lib. ii. accessit Martyrologium Scoticum Sanctorum.
1679. Bonon. 1622, 4to.
in Glassas, Lib. iv. Institut. Justiniani, &c. Bolog. 1622, 4to.
Lib. iii. Locus et Antiq. Rom. rectractatus, &c. 1623, 4to.
Virgini Sanlucianae. Bonon. 1623, 8vo.
a Muresk Scoti Pandectarum in Pisano Lyceo Professoris Ordinarii de
Etruria Regali libri Septem, opus posthumum, in duas partes divisum, nunc
primum editi. curante Tho. Coke. A very elaborate and learned work, with
many copperplates. Florence, 1723-4, 2 vols. folio, to which Passeri
published a Supplement, 1767, folio.
Ecclesiastica Gentis Scotorum, Lib. xix. Bononiae, 1627, 4to. Many of the
authors celebrated in this posthumous work are fabrications. New edition,
edited by Dr. Irving, printed for the Bannatyne Club. Edin. 1829. 2 vols.
of Dunnichen, an eminent agriculturist, was born about 1735, and in 1755
was admitted advocate. In November 1762 he was elected member of
parliament for the Fife and Forfar district of burghs. In 1765 he obtained
the patent office of secretary to the Order of the Thistle. In 1790 he
retired from parliament. He had supported the financial plans of the Pitt
administration; but was opposed to the continued sovereignty over India of
the East India Company, of which he was at one time a director. Anxious to
promote the internal improvement of his native country, it was chiefly by
his exertions that an act of parliament was obtained for affording
protection and encouragement to the fisheries in Scotland. A joint-stock
company having been formed for this object, he was, in 1788, elected one
of the directors. From his patriotism he was designated honest George
Dempster. Besides the fisheries he also took a leading part in promoting
the manufactures and the agriculture of Scotland. He was the first to
suggest the plan of sending fresh salmon to the London market packed in
boxes filled with ice, instead of being pickled as formerly. His latter
years were devoted to the improvement of his estate. Mr. Dempster died at
Dunnichen, in Forfarshire, February 13, 1818. He published ‘Discourse
containing a summary of the Report of the Directors of the Society for
Extending the Fisheries of Great Britain,’ 1789.
DEMPSTER, George (1732-1818), of
Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790,
ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Dempster inherited some 6,000 acres in Forfarshire (worth £769 p.a.) and
a considerable fortune, founded by his grandfather, a grain merchant. He
began the Grand Tour with his life-long friend Adam Fergusson but,
summoned home by family affairs, returned to Edinburgh to practise law.
An attractive, humorous young man, of vigorous mind, much influenced by
Hume, Rousseau and Montesquieu, Dempster was a member of the Select
Society, an independent Whig, rating ‘intrinsic merit’ high above rank
or wealth, a ‘true blue Scot’, dedicated to the encouragement of
agriculture, industry and the arts, and to the establishment of a
In 1761 Dempster stood for Perth Burghs, and, after a contest which
severely strained his finances, defeated Thomas Leslie, Newcastle’s
candidate. He at once made his mark in the House when on 13 Nov., in the
debate on the Address, he spoke ‘with an assurance that for its
unexampled novelty gave great entertainment ... pleaded the extension of
the militia to Scotland ... censured the German war ... and condemned
faction’. Lord George Sackville wrote:
A new Scotch Member, a Mr. Dempster, showed a strong desire of speaking
and seems to have abilities sufficient to make him an object. In short,
he promises well, and though he diverted the House by a becoming
ignorance of its forms, yet he proved that he neither wanted language,
manner, nor matter.
Dempster was now approached by Sir Harry
Erskine, who wrote to Bute, 28 Nov. 1761:
After showing him the necessity of attaching himself to some person or
body of men, and entering on your Lordship’s character, I asked him if
he had made any connexion with any other person ... he declared he had
not. I advised him if he meant to attach himself to you to tell you so
... he said he chose to do it in writing ... as an evidence to produce
against him if he should act contrary to his professions.
Having affirmed his adherence Dempster, hostile to Pitt, on 11 Dec.
attacked Beckford’s motion for Spanish papers as ‘foolish and factious’.
When, through the illness of Gilbert Elliot, the promised motion for a
Scottish militia was delayed, Dempster was prepared to move for it
himself. ‘One ought to squeak when his toes are trod on’, he wrote to
Alexander Carlyle on 20 Jan. 1762. Exasperated when, on Bute’s advice,
the scheme was dropped, he intervened in the English militia debate of
18 Mar. to accuse defecting counties of cowardice. Dempster soon became
restive in the Government camp and at variance with most of his Scots
colleagues. His breach with Bute’s friends became complete when on 9 and
10 Dec. he spoke and voted against the peace.
He was not, however, engrossed in politics; he collaborated with Boswell
and Andrew Erskine in a critique of a play by Mallet; became active with
his friends the Johnstones in East India Company affairs; and in summer
1763 founded the first Dundee bank, ‘George Dempster Co.’ As a patriotic
Scot he resented Wilkes’s attacks in the North Briton, and voted 15 Nov.
1763 against him; but, opposed in principle to general warrants, in
February 1764 spoke and voted against Administration. Yet Dempster was
still essentially unconnected; in May Newcastle listed him and
‘doubtful’, in June Robert Nugent sought to secure him for Grenville. On
9 Jan. 1765 he attended the Cockpit meeting to hear the speech and
address, but on 6 Feb. spoke and voted against the Stamp Act. During the
Regency bill debates Dempster on 9 May eulogized the King, deferring to
his judgment in the selection of a Regent; but on 11 May he supported
Pryse Campbell’s motion against any female regent’s marrying a Catholic.
Under the Rockingham Administration Dempster accepted the office of
secretary to the Thistle, though he had ‘neither the head nor heart of a
truly ambitious man’. He spoke and voted for the repeal of the Stamp Act
and, according to Boswell, acquired ‘a real ministerial look’.
On Rockingham’s fall he expressed to Adam Fergusson his distrust of the
new Administration under Chatham, whose wartime extravagance he had
Pitt is now sovereign arbiter ... His object from the first moment of
his former resignation was to attain this perch of power ... I myself
believe he will not pay off our debts ... will not help the constitution
and ... will break his neck upon the backstairs.
When invited by Conway to attend the pre-Parliament meeting to hear the
King’s speech, Dempster sought direction from Rockingham:
It will give me pleasure to regulate my parliamentary conduct in
whatever shape is agreeable to you. Let me say even more pleasure now
than when your Lordship was at the head of the Treasury. While in that
situation the strongest declarations of attachment might admit of a
double construction; at present your Lordship will not think I flatter
when I express my very high esteem both of your public and private
Dempster therefore followed the Rockinghams into opposition and voted
with them on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767. Having opposed Beckford’s
motion in December 1766 for a parliamentary inquiry into East India
Company affairs, Dempster in the court of proprietors on 12 Mar. 1767
followed Laurence Sulivan in objecting to the terms negotiated by the
directors for the renewal of the charter: ‘a letting the Government into
a partnership with the Company would soon end in the absolute dependency
and ruin of the latter’. On 6 May he was a leader of the proprietors who
in defiance of both ministry and the direction increased the dividend to
Dempster’s alliance with Sulivan and the Johnstones in the East India
Company incurred the hostility of the Clive party, who now sent Robert
Mackintosh to oppose him in his burghs. During the campaign Dempster was
arrested for bribery, but on his plea of parliamentary privilege the
case was adjourned. He returned to Parliament, voted with Opposition on
nullum tempus, 17 Feb. 1768, but, with a criminal prosecution pending
against him, withdrew his candidature in favour of his friend William (Johnstone)
Pulteney, who was returned. Pulteney was also successful in Cromarty,
for which he elected to sit, and Dempster, when the case against him had
been dismissed, was returned again for his burghs. The campaign and
litigation had cost him over £10,000; he was obliged to sell all his
estates except Dunnichen and thereafter was justly reckoned poor. In
April 1769 the Sulivan party secured his election to the direction of
the East India Company.
Faithful to the Rockinghams in opposition, he voted with them on the
Middlesex election, 8 May 1769, and in November, when Sulivan went over
to Administration, scotched rumours that he would follow suit. Burke
wrote to Rockingham, 9 Nov. 1769:
Dempster thought as I do about Sulivan’s coalition. He told me that it
should make no difference in his line in India House; that there he
would stand as firmly by him as he would continue to oppose his new
friends in Parliament. That his political connexion was with your
Lordship and would always be so; but that if Mr. Sulivan should find
that course of conduct prejudicial to his interests in Leadenhall
Street, that he would at an hour’s notice disqualify for the
directorship. This was what I expected from Dempster ... not to
sacrifice one duty to another; but to keep both if possible—if not, to
put it out of his power to violate the principal.
Under North’s Administration Dempster maintained his reputation for
candour in opposition; strongly protested on 7 Dec. 1770 against the
recruitment of German and Irish Catholic troops, advocating compulsory
service, if necessary, and the creation of a Scottish militia; he was
equally emphatic in the debates of 19 Feb. and 4 Mar. 1771 against the
plan to raise German and Irish regiments for the service of the East
India Company ‘as increasing the influence of the Crown and creating a
new standing army of foreigners’.
During the debates on the printers’ case in March 1771 he censured the
Commons’ ‘avidity for prosecution’ as below the dignity of Parliament:
‘I see a new scene opened that affects the liberty of the press ... I do
not like to see people so passionately fond of privilege’; and he
contended that the public had a right to printed reports of
parliamentary proceedings. In the heated debates over the conduct of
Alderman Oliver and Brass Crosby he urged moderation, and voted against
their commitment to the Tower.
In 1772 Dempster was elected a director of the East India Company, not
on the house list but as the popular choice of the proprietors. He was
closely concerned in the Company’s proposed reforms and in the selection
of supervisors to be sent out to India; when Parliament rejected the
plan Dempster, strongly objecting to Government intervention, early in
March ‘disqualified as a director ... that he might be more at liberty
in Parliament’; with the Duke of Richmond and the Johnstones he headed a
group of dissident proprietors and was a frequent Opposition speaker in
the debates of March-June 1773 on North’s Regulating Act. ‘I would
rather return the territory to the Mogul than suffer it to be taken by
the Crown.’ He opposed North’s American policy, and spoke against the
Boston port bill and the Quebec bill.
During the recess Dempster married, but got little money with his wife,
and after his unopposed return at the general election decided, mainly
for reasons of economy, not to attend the next parliamentary session. He
wrote to Sir Adam Fergusson, 26 Jan. 1775:
I have long thought ... that unless one preserves a little freedom and
independency in Parliament to act in every question and to vote
agreeably to ... one’s own mind, a seat in Parliament is a seat of
thorns and rusty nails. That this cannot be attained without some ease
in your affairs ... either you must be very rich or very frugal ... When
single I lived on my salary in London the year round—as a married man
this is impossible.
‘Having discharged his duty last year to America very conscientiously
and very fruitlessly’, he believed his attendance would not affect the
issue. He wrote to Fergusson:
The ministry are ... determined to adhere to their system, the Americans
to their natural rights ... I foretell it will begin with bloodshed in
America and end with a change of ministers and measures in England.
To his American friend Ralph Izard he wrote, 7 June 1775:
In Scotland, myself and a very few more excepted, the whole body of the
gentry and of the independent and enlightened class of people are to a
man on the side of Administration ... There is a principle against
America as well as for her, insomuch that it would not be easy for a
ministry more favourable to her to bring the bulk of the House over to
Dempster returned to London for the autumn session of 1775, urged
conciliation, opposed the prohibition of trade with America, and
supported Fox’s motion for an inquiry into the ill-success of British
arms. Believing that the American crisis might induce the Government to
concede a Scottish militia, he assisted in drafting Lord Mountstuart’s
bill and strongly supported it in the debates of March 1776. Dempster
also favoured the extension of the Scottish franchise ‘now engrossed by
the great lords, the drunken laird and the drunkener baillie’, and did
not approve Dundas’s abortive proposals for limiting the creation of
county votes. He wrote to Carlyle:
Instead of curtailing the right by cutting off superiors, let it be
extended to vassals and tenants ... but I am Whig enough to think that
the most beneficial law should not be crammed down the throats of any
people, but their minds gradually prepared for the alteration.
Throughout 1777 Dempster maintained his opposition; demanded an inquiry
into the civil list debts, 18 Apr.; criticized, 15 May, North’s
financial measures and the system of contracts; intervened in the East
India debate on 22 May to attack the intrigues of the Nabob of Arcot;
but affirmed his independent views on West India trade and the Scottish
Dempster’s finances had now been augmented by £1,000 p.a. bequeathed to
him under the will of Sir Robert Fletcher. In December 1777 he went to
France, and did not return to Parliament until spring 1779. Convinced
that ‘the influence of the Crown is the true cause of the origin and
absurd conduct of this American war’, Dempster supported Burke on
economical reform, 15 Dec. 1779, and was a prominent Opposition speaker
in the debates on pensions and the civil list establishment.
At the general election of 1780 Dempster, labelled by his opponents ‘a
traitor to Scotland’ for his vote on Dunning’s motion, was modestly
surprised by ‘the successful issue of his short campaign’. In the new
Parliament he took the lead in opposing concessions to Irish trade at
the expense of Scotland; was prominent in the East India debates in
support of the Company’s rights, and maintained to the end his
objections to the Bengal judicature bill. His ‘proverbial candour’
occasionally disconcerted his Opposition colleagues. When Fox on 21 June
1781 attacked George Johnstone for incompetence, suggesting that his
naval command was a reward for going over to Administration, Dempster,
who ‘never framed his friendship on such sandy ground as party
consideration,’ joined North in defending Johnstone’s ability and
Dempster does not appear to have attended the winter session 1781-2; he
did not vote in any of the divisions leading to North’s fall. No speech
of his is recorded until 18 Apr. 1782, when he intervened in the Bengal
judicature debate in defence of his friend Sir Elijah Impey. Although in
general supporting the Rockingham Administration, Dempster maintained
his independence in Indian, West Indian and Scottish affairs, and
continued to press for a Scottish militia.
He voted for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, ‘as a thing
absolutely necessary for the country’. He supported the Coalition with
considerable reserve and remained uncompromisingly hostile to North.
Although in 1782 he had supported Pitt’s motion for an inquiry into
parliamentary representation and urged its extension to Scotland, he did
not approve his proposed reforms of 7 May 1783: ‘As the representative
of a borough he could not assent to give a vote that would lessen the
influence of his constituents.’
Seeking nothing for himself, he disliked soliciting for friends. He
wrote to Fergusson on 22 Sept. 1783:
When you ask a minister to do a favour ... it founds an expectation that
you will in return confer a favour upon him ... But the true spirit of
our constitution ought to make it criminal in a Member of Parliament to
offer any constituent the smallest personal favour. We shall never sit
quite at our ease in Parliament till it may be said ... that we never
obtained the slightest favour at court either for ourselves or others.
Over East India affairs Dempster during the long controversies had
modified his views. He now wished to abandon all territorial claims and
confine the Company’s activities to commerce. On Fox’s East India bill
he expressed on 27 Nov. 1783 considerable misgivings:
All chartered rights should be held inviolable, one charter only
excepted ... The charter of the E.I. Co ... ought to be destroyed for
the sake of this country ... of India ... and of humanity. He ...
conjured ministers to abandon all idea of sovereignty in that quarter of
the globe. It would be much wiser ... to make some one of the native
princes King ... and to leave India to itself. [But] ... he saw which
way the House was inclined and therefore he should withdraw, as he would
not vote, against his principles, for the throne of Delhi.
Shortly afterwards he left for Scotland, was absent during the change of
Administration, and on his return in January 1784 was listed by Robinson
as an opponent of Pitt. On 23 Jan. he strongly protested against a
dissolution and welcomed Fox’s motion to reintroduce his bill. ‘He would
now be able to modify it in respect of patronage and ... make it
generally palatable.’ Dempster remained loyal to Fox, but as a member of
the St. Alban’s Tavern group favoured a union of parties and preached
moderation so that ‘something decisive’ might be done for India.
Returned unopposed at the general election, Dempster now became
increasingly ‘elevated above all party views’. He was conciliatory to
Pitt who, respecting his views on trade and finance, supported his
motion for a committee on fisheries, which now became Dempster’s major
interest. Over India he maintained his individual view that he would
rather see Indian affairs ‘egregiously mismanaged’ by the court of
directors than well managed by the Crown, and that it was impracticable
to govern India from England. In the debate of 16 July 1784 he proposed:
That his Majesty should be requested to send over one of his sons and
make him King of that country; we might then make an alliance or federal
union with him and then we could enjoy all the advantage that could be
derived from the possession of the East Indies by Europeans—the benefit
Dempster was critical of Opposition attacks
on Warren Hastings ‘to whom alone he imputed the salvation of India’.
In the new session he supported Pitt’s Irish propositions, although
uneasy about their effect on Scottish trade and industry, and voted for
them 13 May 1785; but in February 1786 he spoke and voted against
Richmond’s fortification plans as unnecessary and extravagant. During
the East India debates of 1786-7 Dempster remained a vehement defender
both of Warren Hastings and of Impey; rebutted all Opposition charges
against a governor general whom he eulogized for his integrity as
statesman, soldier and financier; and justified even his severities. But
he joined with Opposition leaders in pressing the complaints of the East
India Company servants in Bengal; on 19 Mar. he moved for the repeal of
the East India Acts of 1784-6 and proposed a new system of government
under a viceroy, council, and a representative assembly of resident
Europeans. Although frequently an advocate of free institutions and
better representation, especially in Scotland, Dempster now seems to
have limited his proposals to county representation, and on 28 May 1787
declined to support petitions for the reform of Scottish burghs.
In the House Dempster was respected as ‘one of the most conscientious
men who ever sat in Parliament’, particularly for his efforts to curb
taxation and reduce the national debt, and for his championship of the
distressed, whether famine-stricken Highlanders, poor hawkers, or
American loyalists. In Scotland he was honoured for his exertions both
in and out of Parliament to encourage Scottish trade, agriculture,
manufactures and fisheries. In furtherance of his schemes he purchased
in 1786 the estate of Skibo, and on his Angus estate embarked upon plans
for building the new village of Letham. During the summer of 1788 he
decided not to seek re-election, and in November informed his
constituents. He wrote, 10 July 1788, to Alexander Carlyle: ‘It is now
twenty years since I have found my opposition to any measure one of the
necessary accompaniments of its success’, and listed as examples the
American war and Hastings’s prosecution.
He returned to Parliament for the new session and was a leading
Opposition speaker in the Regency debates. On the King’s recovery he
resumed his customary strictures on Government expenditure, seconded the
motion for toleration for Scottish Episcopalians, but opposed the
abolition of the slave trade without full compensation to the planters
and traders affected. He made his last recorded speech on 22 July in
favour of supplying corn to revolutionary France.
For the rest of his life he devoted himself to the development of
Scottish fisheries, industries and communications, and the improvement
of his own estates. He wrote to Adam Fergusson, 2 Aug. 1793:50
I am full of occupation from morning till night ... Although I don’t get
into debt, I am pretty near as bare of money as I used to be ... I have
... the satisfaction of considering that I am done with Parliament after
a service of thirty years neither suited to my fortune nor genius, where
I never was metaphysician enough to settle to my own satisfaction the
bounds of the several duties a Member owes to his King, his country, to
purity or Puritanism rather, and to party, to myself and those who
depended upon my protection ... but went on floundering like a blind
horse in a deep road and a long journey.
He died 13 Feb. 1818.
Jottings from the records of a Farming society