Tagged with agriculture

The Great Migration

There is a lot of talk on levels of immigration to Britain, but this is a country that has lost a lot of people over the centuries: The Irish Potato Famine, The Highland Clearances of Scotland and a lot of the Welsh left in the 19th century. But less known are the periodic outpourings of … Continue reading

Longevity of our Ancestors

A lot of people seem to think our ancestors lived to be abut 35 but this is largely based on massively high infant mortality. I have come across a lot of people who lived to be al east twice that, and occasional citings of centenarians, usually in country villages. But I think this one takes … Continue reading

Death of the Cider Industry

Our ancestors had a lot of processions and when a community wanted to make a statement they often did it with great drama. Lord Bute brought in a tax on cider in 1763 to help fund the ongoing Seven Years’ War. This was a potential disaster for the apple growing regions of the west country … Continue reading

Helpful Ants

This is from the i newspaper by Paul Peachey: “Farmers who have harnessed the collective power of the humble ant have proved more successful at controlling pests than those using chemicals, according research… Farmers in tropical forests have caught, cultivated and trained colonies of ants to patrol tropical forests to kill bigger pests with remarkable … Continue reading

Evil Tea

I had read of how people like the Wesleys condemned tea drinking and I thought it was to do with it being imported, or maybe the high cost for the poor, but John Wesley actually claimed it was more dangerous than heroin, which is quite an extraordinary claim, but there were sound reasons for this. … Continue reading

Talking to a Rat

This is another gem from Cecil Torr’s Small Talk at Wreyland. “From time to time the Country Council appoints a’rat week’ for a general attack on rats. Rats have a good deal of sense: hey abandon place where they are hunted down, and congregate in places where they are left alone. A rat-week frightens them … Continue reading

Spreading Technology

Here’s another ad, showing how agricultural improvements and technology were spread: FLEMISH REAPERS Notice is hereby given that the two FLEMISH REAPERS brought to this country by the Highland Society for the prurpose of exhibiting the use of the HAINAULT SCYTHE are to be in Aberdeen on Wednesday 7th September, and will exhibit their implements … Continue reading

Stone Age Britons Imported Food

This is from the i newspaper last week, which throws new light on our hunter-gatherer ancestors: “English hunter-gatherers traded with continental wheat farmers at least 2,000 years before agriculture came to Britain, research suggests. Scientists made the discovery after analysing fragments of ancient DNA at an underwater site off the Isle of Wight. In the … Continue reading

English Weather

The English are famous for complaining about their weather, so this piece is useful as it shows how long this tradition has existed. This is from Horace Walpole, writing to George Montagu in 1768: “I perceive the deluge fell upon you before it reached us. It began here but on Monday last, and then rained … Continue reading

Animals of the Caribbean

The Caribbean Islands, especially the smaller ones, had few animals when Europeans arrived, as few could cross the water. Trinidad had the best range, including sloth , anteater, tiger cat, raccoon, small deer. Other isles their only mammals apart from bats, rodents included the large, tasty hutia, similar to a of rabbit, and 1 frog … Continue reading