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to those of large fortune and great influence in the country: and great, indeed, will be their merit and reward, if they de. vote those talents with which Providence has blessed them, to serve the common cause, and their own, in the most effen, tial manner, by rendering the situation of the labouring poor more comfortable, and promoting population. " A civic crown was formerly decreed to him who saved the life of a citizen. What adequate recompense shall be adjudged to him who shall be the means of thus adding thousands to the number?"
Sect. II.- Rent.
In this county, there is very little land let by the acre. But such gentlemen as have got their estates surveyed, have also got the different farms and fields valued, for their own private information. The quality of the soil is extremely different; so that such valuations differ, sometimes on the fame : farm, from 2s. to 155, the acre of arable ground. The pafture too, being partly green hill, but mostly heath, differs no less in its quality than the arable land. Some of it is valued below 4d. and some above 4s. the acre. In the neighbourhood of Campbelton, a few spots of arable land let from 21. to 31. the acre. But this price may be said to be put, not altogether upon the land, but partly upon the accommodation *.
* What proportion the rent of a farm should bear to its produce, depends so much on soil, climate, situation, and other circumstances, that no general rule can be laid down on the subject. On the rent of shcep-lands, as occupied with us at present, some observations may be seen in Chap. XIII. Sect. 2. In regard to arable lands more particularly, it is a common, though perhaps not a just remark, that 1-3d of the produce should go for rent, 1-3d for expence of management, and 1-3d for the farmer's profit, interest, &c. The oldest observation extant on this subject is in Gen. xlvii. 24.; where 1-5th is allow
There is very little arable land in the county, but what is capable of higher cultivation ; besides the great quantity of waste ground that may be improved in almost every farm. The land is therefore capable of being made to yield a much higher rent when better cultivated; though not a great deal of it, as is generally thought, can bear much more, in the present stage of improvement, than what is laid on already, unless it be under a different management *. . • That high rents are a spur to improvement and exertion, is a common, and, to a certain extent, a juft maxim. No doubt there may be fome, who, if they had the land for nothing, would be ruined by their indolence. But the more common case is, that, when a tenant sees that all his exertion will not do, he becomes dispirited and desperate, and allows himself to be carried along by the stream which he cannot stem. The land suffers, the tenant fails, the farm gets a bad name, and the rent must be lowered. Thus the landlord, 'as well as the tenant, suffers, by raising the rent higher or faster than the improvement of the land will bear.
A substantial tenant is generally cautious of engaging to pay a rent that is.exorbitant. He sees the success of those who invest their money in other branches of business; and he follows their example, if he has not the prospect of a farm's yielding him full interest for his money, and an adequate return for his diligence and labour. Whereas he who has leaft to lose, is often the most forward to offer; and the landlord is often tempted to accept the offer, without confidering that a sufficient capital is necessary for paying the rent, and improving the land. Instances of ruin to the tenant, and
ed for rent, 1-5th for feed, 1-5th for food, 1-5th for fervants, and 1-5th to lay by for provision to children.
* Sheep-lands would be more productive, by introducing a better-woolled breed; arable lands, by adopting a better system of husbandry. See Chap. VII. Sect. 3.
loss to the landlord, from too high rents, are not unfrequent, especially on some of the smaller estates. Most of the farmers toil hard, live poorly; and for one who has a trifle for his pains, perhaps two give their pains for nothing. Many who have old leases, obtained before the late rise in land, and in its produce, took place, are very well; as are also many of those who have sheep stocks; as their possessions are managed with less expence, and the value of some of them was not well known till they were tried under the sheep fystem. But even bad bargains are become good, by the late rise on every article of produce; and most of those who have leases are at present at their ease.
The 'occupiers of land, whether in pasturage or tillage, ought certainly to be able, like labourers or tradesmen, to live by their occupation, and to support their families by their daily care and labour. The interest of the money invested in their stock, with the proper allowance for tear, wear, and risk, they should be able to save as a provision for their families, and for old age; as the money fo invested would give this return, if laid out on interest, without any trouble whatever. It cannot be considered as any part of the produce of the ground; and therefore no part of it ought, in equity, to enter into the payment of the rent: and yet not one in ten, perhaps, is able to save it; nor do they commonly advert that so much ought to be saved in justice. They are generally fatisfied, if they can keep their stock undiminished; so that the business, in general, returns much less to those engaged in it, than almost any other. A happy predilection in favour of the occupation in which they were brought up, is what induces so many to follow it. Perhaps it may be also said, that there is implanted in the human mind, for wise purposes, a certain innate disposition, or instinct, which leads it to delight in rural occupations.
The rents in general, especially upon the larger estates
are paid in money: but tenants on the leffer estates, and near their landlord, often pay some of the rent in kind, and are almost always subject to servitudes *. Peats must be made and led; so muft the hay: aslistance must, perhaps, be given in seed-time and harvest. So many wedders, fowls, eggs, butter and cheese, lint, wool, oats, meal: so much spinning from the wives, or perhaps so much yarn ;, and sometimes they must pay the weaver, and give it in fheets and blankets f. In short, so many hundred things are required by the laird, and so many hundred things by the lady, that it is impollible to pay them. It is sometimes expected, over and a bove all this, that the poor wretches shall come with presents, when they themselves are almost objects of charity! And to keep them in perfect dependence, they have often no leases. The miserable creatures on lands under this management, have neither meat, nor clothes, nor habitations; and a . stranger would know them and their lands in passing, as eafily as Solomon did the garden of the fluggard. Such practices cannot be reprobated in too strong terms. They are the ruin of the tenant first; and, in the end, they will ruin the landlord.
All services, whether paid to the master, or to any under him, should be entirely abolished, and all rents formed into one fum of money, including public burdens, such as minister's stipend, schoolmaster's salary, road-money, &c. Thus the tenant would always have a clear view of the amount of his rent;'and save time, trouble, and perhaps expence, by having to settle only with one, instead of many. His time is
* Besides giving their time and labour, they must fometimes find their own provisions! See Stat. Acc. of Lifmore and Appin.
4 A lady, who, in her wisdom, took this course, and laid up woollen trea: fures for many years, found, from experience, that the lived in a world where mosbs corrupt; and that blankets, like their owners, when laid up in cheits, bgo come the food of worms.
precious, and ought never to be thrown away without necesfity.
Sect. III.-Tithes. . As no tithes are paid in Scotland, landlords can improve their grounds with much more advantage than can be done in England. In 1629, an account of the teinds in this county was taken, as they were then paid; and the amount of
them at that time, in every parish, is the fund out of which 'the minister of that parish is maintained, by a stipend modi
fied by the court of teinds, and proportioned among the different heritors, according to the valued rent of their respective properties *.. · This measure had the happy. effect of removing every ground of dispute between the clergyman and his people, on the score of tithes ; and tended to produce that harmony and cordiality between them, which are so necessary to make the labours of the clergy useful. But the evil is, that this fund, sufficient as it may then have been, is now in many places become altogether inadequate for the maintenance of the clergyman. The vast rise in the value of lands, and in all the neceffaries of life, with the great influx of money, arising from the extension of trade, commerce, and manufactures, with all the consequent changes in the mode of living, in the course of almost two centuries, must have reduced a fund, which has been all that time stationary, to less, perhaps, than a tenth part of its original value to i
. * On this subjecx, see Erskine's Institutes.
+ Professor Hutchison, in a pamphlet which is little more than 50 years old, states the clergjinan in the generality of the parishes in Scotland to be the second man in point of income : now he is not generally the 20th, often not the 50th. On the continent of Argyle, the average proporticn of the stipend to the rent is nicarly as I to 30. In the county of Effex ( Apr. Rep.l, the