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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 14

Other Facts and Figures Bearing on the Land Question

Other Facts and Figures Bearing on the Land Question.

Expenses of Legal Transfers.

(From a list of Purchasers' expenses prepared by the conveyancer to the Commission for Registration of Titles.)

Purchase Money. Legal Expenses (not including Stamp Duty.)
£ £ s. d.
100 23 14 3
225 15 7 0
230 39 13 3
500 15 6 8
600 31 10 0
746 48 12 6
956 23 19 0
1,000 46 12 0
— £4,357 £244 14 8
1,800 24 0 10
4,667 54 5 4
2,300 52 0 4
1,260 17 2 8
2,662 39 0 0
1,340 40 9 2
1,695 21 10 0
1,835 32 0 10
1,248 46 12 2
1,895 54 8 0
2,274 72 4 6
£22,976 £453 13 10
£27,333 £698 8 6

Average cost of transfer 2½ percent,, and the Stamp Duty ½ per cent., makes it 3 per cent. Imagine this on any other commodity than land.

page 131

Deer Forests.

In Scotland much more than 2,000,000 acres have been depopulated and cleared of thousands of sheep to make room for deer forests: homes, farms, and food destroyed, that wealth may sport. There are now in

Caithness 60,000 acres of Deer Forests.
Sutherland 136,000 acres
Ross and Cromarty 760,000 acres
Inverness 710,000 acres
Argyll 165,000 acres
Banff 30,000 acres
Aberdeen 155,000 acres
Perth 97,000 acres
Forfar 51,000 acres
Dumbarton 1,000 acres
Total 2,155,000 acres

Well may Professor Blackie remark that "we have made Laws enough to preserve the Landlords and the Game, and it might seem wise now to make a few laws to preserve the people."

According to the British AImanac for 1885, the total area of the four counties of Scotland which are Highland counties par excellence, and in which are situated the chief deer forests of the country, extends to 8,030,190 acres; the extent of land under cultivation being only 419.385 acres, there is thus left for deer and other wild animals an enormous tract of country, much of it, of course, unfit for life of any kind, inaccessible mountains and rocky promontories upon which nothing can live.

The exact rental yielded by deer forests is not known, but estimates founded on the assessments for taxation, which have been made, place the rent at about 2s. per acre, which would yield a total sum of about £216,000 per annum. More than sixty of the Scottish deer forests are let, or retained by the owners, at rents ranging from £1,000 to £4,000 sterling; there is one gentleman, however, who pays for the land he has leased as a forest in two or three of the Scottish counties considerably more than £8,000 per annum!

The tenants of these vast stretches of land obtain nothing in return for the large amounts paid but the privilege of shooting the deer and such other wild animals as they may be able to find on their ground, and it has been calculated by economists that each stag slain is killed at a cost of not less than fifty guineas, whilst the price of a brace of grouse to the lessee of a moor has been reckoned at a pound. These are "fancy" figures, of course, and must be taken for what they are worth, as plenty of miscellaneous game is found in some of the forests which helps to furnish the table; but by rule of thumb it is assumed that any deer forest which is capable of yielding a hundred stags per annum is worth from £4,000 to £5,000 a year. Mr. J. G. Bertram has estimated that in the ten counties above named, 4,377 stags will be expected yearly, and this at £50 apiece would represent a rent-roll of £230,000. But some 50,000 to 60,000 hinds are also kept, and the contingent expenditure for servants, watchers, gillies, &c., is at least equal to the sum paid in rent. The protection of all trees from the deer, the erection of shooting lodges, &c., building of dykes, fences, &c., and various forms of "improvements" in connection with the Highland shootings and stalkings, are estimated to have cost £5,000,000.

Home and Foreign Agricultural Produce.

The relative proportions annually consumed in this country were thus stated by Sir James Caird in 1880:—
Home Growth. Cwts. Foreign Growth. Cwts. Totals.
Corn 177,000,000 136,000,000 313,000,000
Potatoes 111,000,000 9,000,000 120,000,000
Wool 1,214,000 3,500,000 4,714,000
Animals, Bacon, Hams, & Pork 24,500,000 8,100,000 32,600,000
Cheese & Butter 3,000,000 3,800,000 6,800,000
Milk (Home growth only) Value.
Hay 80,000,000 80,000,000
Straw sold for Town Consumption 40,000,000 40,000,000
436,714,000 160,400,000 597,114,000
The relative values are also summarized in this manner by the same authority:—
Home Growth. Foreign Growth.
£ £
Corn and Vegetable Produce 125,737,500 64,900,000
Wool and Animal Produce 135,000,000 60,400,000
£260,737,500 £125,300,000

The Dangers of Foreign Food Supply.

The nonsense often talked by military and naval authorities, by reciprocitarians, and by alarmists generally as to the danger of obtaining supplies of food from abroad, the peril of being starved into submission in case of war, and "hoc genus omne," will be amply discounted when it is remembered:—
1.That it is not only unlikely, but impossible, that the whole world will be against us at once—a pass, however, which a Tory Monarch and Tory Ministers nearly brought us to in the reign of George III.
2.That obtaining as we do so large a proportion of our food from the foreigner, it is inconceivable that the corn producers, &c., of any country would permit their best market to be long closed to them.
3.That the slight rise of price ensuing from war or the stop-page of supplies from one country would immediately bring about additional production in the other parts of the world to meet our needs, not to speak of what our own farmers would be only too glad to do.
4.That without any strain at all upon our present agricultural system, the Corn Land of the Kingdom might, by the application of nitrate, be made to produce an additional wheat crop, instead of the usual four-course system of wheat, turnips, barley, and clover. If only a twentieth part of our Corn Area were thus sown, the effect of the loss of Russian supply would not be felt. If all Europe were closed to us, One-tenth of such double cropping would suffice to neutralise the effect.
5.That the Corn Lands as now sown, producing an average of but 26 bushels to the statute acre, might with improved tillage be easily rendered more productive. The average crop of Mr. J. B. Lawes is well known to be 36 bushels, and Canon C. W. Stubbs states the Allotments average at 40 bushels. Then the maximums under each system are not to be forgotten, being respectively 60, 55, and 57 bushels to the acre.
6.That apart altogether from the Corn Lands, covering as they do bit 10 millions of acres, we have pasture lands extending over 25 million acres, which form a most immense reserve of cereal production, and more than sufficient to keep us for generations in the event of altogether impossible calamities.

Sir James Caird's Tables of Comparative Agricultural Values and Comparative Harvests.

1770. 1850. 1880.
Rent of Land per acre 13s. 27s. 30s.
Price of Bread per lb. 1½d. 1¼d. 1½d.
Price of Meat per lb. 3¼d. 6d. 9d.
Price of Butter per lb. 6a. 1s. 1s. 8d.
Wages of Agricultural Labourer per wk. 7s. 3d. 9s. 7d. 14s.
Rent of Labourer's Cottage per wk. 8d. 1s. 5d. 2s.

Comparisons taken from the Books of a Dairy Farm, situate between Lancaster and Garstang.

In 1770 and In 1850.
Rent, 218. an acre Rent, 41s. an acre.
Rates, 3d. per pound. Rates, 3s. 9d. per pound.
Tithes compounded for. Tithes commuted, and included in rent.
4-7ths of farm in grass. 4-5ths of farm in grass.
3-7th8 arable. 1-5th arable.
Annual produce of a cow, £4. Annual produce of a cow, £9.
Six horses in a plough, and do an acre a day. Two, and sometimes three horses in a plough.
First man's wages, £9 a year, and his board. First man's wages, £15 to £16 a year, and board.
Second man, £5 a year, and board. Second man, £10 a year, and board.
Dairymaid. £3 and board. Dairymaid. £7 10s and board.page 132
Bread (oat), 11 lb. for a 1s. Bread, 4d. per 41b. loaf, coarse wheaten bread; 5d per 41b., best.
Cheese, 3d. per lb. Cheese, 5d. per lb.
Butter, 8d. per lb. Butter, 11d. to 1s. per lb.
Beef, 2½d. per lb. Beef, 5d. to 6d.
Mutton, 2½d. per lb. Mutton, 6d.
Labourer's house-rent, 20s. Labourer's house-rent, 50s. to 100s.

Land Assessments.

1857. 1875. Increase Capitalized at 30 years' purchase.
England £41,177,000 £50,125,000 £268,440,000
Scotland 5,932,000 7,493,000 46,830,000
Ireland, from 1862 8,747,000 9,293,000 16,380,000
Gain to Land-owners £331,650,000
Estimated increase of Farmers' capital during same period, through rise in values of Live Stock 114,000,000
Gain to Landed and Agricultural Interest from Free Trade £445,650,000
The gain of wages to Labourers is not included.


Estimated No. in Great Britain 560,000
Ireland 600,000
Aggregate capital employed by the Farming Class, above £400,000,000

Produce of Wheat per Acre.

1849 123
1850 102
1851 110
1852 79
1853 71
1854 127
1855 96
1856 96
1857 124
1858 116
1859 92
1860 78
1861 92
1862 108
1863 141
1864 127
1865 110
1866 90
1867 74
1868 126
1869 102
1870 112
1871 90
1872 92
1873 80
1874 106
1875 78
1876 76
1877 74
1878 108
1879 58
1880 90
1881 86
1882 90
1883 95
1884 105

The above table is based upon 28 bushels as an average crop, and reckoning 28 bushels=100. The figures of this and other tables are from Sir James Caird's valuable works on "The Landed Interest" (Cassell and Co.), and "English Agriculture" (Longmans).

From another authority—(Times)—the Harvest estimates, being differently based, appear as follows:—
Estimated Wheat Harvests of the United Kingdom.
Year. Acres. Character of the Yield. Assumed Bushels per Acre. Available for Consumptln after Deducting Seed. Imperial Qrs.
1866 3,661,000 Under average 27 11,400,000
1867 3,640,000 Much under 25 10,390,000
1868 3,951,000 Much over 34 15,790,000
1869 3,982,000 Under 27 12,490,000
1870 3,773,000 Over 32 14,100,000
1871 3,831,000 Under 27 11,970,000
1872 3,840,000 Much under 23 10,110,000
1873 3,670,000 Much under 25 10,550,000
1874 3,833,000 Over 31 13,700,000
1875 3,514,000 Much under 23 9,124,000
1876 3,124,000 Under 27 9,665,000
1877 3,321,000 Much under 22 9,432,000
1878 3,382,000 Over 30 11,825,000
1879 3,056,000 Very much under 18 6,990,000
1880 3,070,000 Under 26 9,114,000
1881 2,967,000 Under 27 9,124,000
1882 3,164,000 Under 28 10,243,000
1883 2,715,000 Under 26 8,124,000
1884 2,751,000 Over 30 9,504,000
1885 2,553,000 Over 31 9,175,000
Average of 19 years. 3,434,000 26¾ 10,666,000
Average of first nine years. 3,798,000 28 12,278,000
Average of nine years ending 1883. 3,146,000 25¼ 9,182,000

"The large farm system embraces nearly twice the proportion of corn, and half the proportion of green crops and grass. In other words, it is doubly dependent on the price of corn as compared with the middle class farm system, which relics to a far greater extent on its dairy produce, its fat cattle, its vegetables, and its hay. The result is, that the latter pays more rent or surplus for the use of the land, and a higher rate of wages to the labourer......A man who has regular employment at wages finds an immense advantage in a good garden allotment beside his cottage, and that is vastly increased when that cottage is on the farm, away from the temptation of the beer shop, and where, as part of his wages, he receives the keep of a cow. This is the system in the border counties, where agriculture is in the most prosperous state, and the agricultural labourer the best fed and clothed, the most educated and intelligent of his class in any part of the three kingdoms."—Sir James Caird (Statistical Society's Journal, March, 1869.)

"To far too great an extent we have been accustomed to measure the so-called 'harvest' generally, and even the entire agricultural position, by the success or failure of the wheat crop alone. When it is remembered that the proportions devoted to this cereal vary so enormously in different parts of the country, and reflect on the fact that though a bad harvest usually means loss on all our grain crops, it by no means follows that all suffer equally, I think I may be allowed to plead for greater prominence being allowed to the records of the yield of our other crops."—Major P. G. Craigie, Sec. Central Chamber of Agriculture (Statistical Society's Journal, March, 1883.)