Treatise Concerning the Manner of Fallowing of Ground, Raising of Grass-Seeds, and Training of Lint and Hemp, for the Increase and Improvement of the Linnen Manufactories in Scotland. Published for the Benefit of the Farmers in that Kingdom, by the Honourable Society for Improving in the Knowledge of Agriculture.
Item No: B4376
Publication date: 1724
Published by: The Society for Improving in the Knowledge of Agriculture; Edinburgh / Printed by Robert Fleming and Company
Edition: 1st Edition, First impression.
Illustrated: Containing 1 plate and 6 fold-out plates illustrating related tools and machinery.
Dimensions: 12mo. 7 1/2".
About this title: Published to encourage the improvement of Scotland`s agriculture and to promote the linen and hemp industries. The first three chapters expound the virtues of English agricultural methods, including dairy farming; chapters 4 and 5 are on growing flax and hemp for textiles; chapters 6 and 7 are on spinning and weaving these fibres; chapter 8 on bleaching; and an appendix prints the texts of various laws concerning linen manufacture, planting, and ferries, bridges and highways. Halkett and Laing attributed the book to the Jacobite leader William Mackintosh of Borlum, under whose name it is still often catalogued, although it now generally thought that Robert Maxwell (1695-1765), Secretary of the Society of Improvers in the Knowledge of Agriculture, under whose auspices the book was published, was largely responsible for writing it. Chapters 5-8 reprint Louis Crommelin`s Essay towards the improvement of the hempen and flaxen manufactures in the Kingdom of Ireland (Dublin, 1705), who is identified as `the Founder of the Linen-Manufactory in Ireland, about the Year 1700`. The plates are especially interesting, and lacking from a number of copies (presumably a remainder issue was put out without plates). They show the details of `A French Loom`; `A Loom call`d Estille`; a `Dutch Loom`; and `The Tools for a Flax Dresser`. Several views of the looms are shown, and the parts described in detail in the letterpress on the facing pages. ESTC shows that this work is fairly widely held in libraries, though many copies lack the plates. However Crommelin`s work is very rare, with copies of the first edition only at Folger and Huntington outside Ireland and the UK; selections were printed at Glasgow in 1725 (NLS only) and there was a Dublin reprint in 1734 (Columbia and Huntington only outside Ireland and the UK). `In the eighteenth century a number of works on flax and hemp were published in Scotland, one of the earliest of these being A treatise concerning the manner of fallowing ground, raising of grass-seeds and training of lint and hemp. This was published in Edinburgh in 1724 by the Society of Improvers in the Knowledge of Agriculture. This Society had been established in June of the previous year. It worked for practical reforms in Scottish agriculture by making known and encouraging new ideas in husbandry, and by giving advice to members on improving their lands. Its first President was Thomas Hope of Rankeillour, or Rankeillor, who had travelled widely and had studied farming methods in England, France, Flanders, Holland, and other countries.` Henrey. Literature: A.J. Durie, The Scottish Linen Industry in the 18th Century (1979) pp. 14-16; Blanche Henrey, British Botanical and Horticultural Literature before 1800 (3 vols, 1975), II, pp. 603-605.