The Hartlib Papers

Title:Printed Pamphlet, 'A Discoverie For Division Or Setting Out Of Land', Cressy Dymock Et. Al. Part 2
Dating:1653
Ref:Second half of text (pp. 12-24)
Notes:This document is divided between two files. Published by Samuel Hartlib. Text comprises: Preface by Samuel Hartlib (sig. A2r-A3r: included in part 1); Main text in form of a letter to Hartlib by Cressy Cymock (pp. 1-11: included in part 1); Various experiments in husbandry, various authors (pp. 12-24). Published with An Essay upon Master W. Potters Designe, [Sir Cheney Culpepper], (pp. 25-33: included separately). [HDC list of The Publications of Samuel Hartlib, Turnbull: No. 44]

[Long-Title and Bibliographical description:]
Dymock, Cressy
ST: A discoverie for division.
Wing Number: H985   Wing Microfilm: 495.28
A | DISCOVERIE | For Division or Setting out of Land | as to the best Form. | Published by Samuel Hartlib Esquire, for | Direction and more Advantage and Profit of the Ad- | venturers and Planters in the FENS and other- | Waste and undisposed Places in England | and IRELAND. | Whereunto are added some other Choice | Secrets or Experiments of | Husbandry. | With a Philosophical Quere concerning | the Cause of Fruitfulness. | AND | An Essay to shew How all Lands may be | improved in a New Way to become the ground | of the increse of Trading and Revenue | to this Common-wealth. | [rule] | LONDON. Printed for Richard Wodenothe in Leaden-hall-street, 1653.
4o: A-E4, F1; [$2 (- A,E 1) signed]; 17 leaves
pp . [8] 1 -24 [25-26] 27-33

[Text resumes:]
[p. 12]
          An Experiment for the multiplying
    of Corn, practised neer Paris in France, by some
       of that new order of Friers, who are there
         called Peres de lâ doctrine Chrestienne.
IN to two French pintes of rain-water, they did put a certain quantity of Cow-dung well-rotted, and as much Sheeps-dung and pigeons dung. This water they boiled, till but half a pinte was left, then they strained it through a linnen cloth, and in it dissolved 3 small handfuls of common salt, and as much Salt Peter. This brine they set in some vessel upon hot ashes, and in it they steeped their Seed-corn; which being so ordered, and at the usuall seed-time, being put into barren ground. produced unusuall increase, I my selfe have seen one hundred and fourteen eares upon one root, which, they told me, came from one single corn so prepared. This way of theirs differs not much from that which I found in an old Manuscript, and cannot dislike. Take, saith he, rain-water that hath stood in some pool or pond till it putrifie. Put into it good store of dung of horses, kine, sheep, goats, pigeons, hens, and any other beast or bird that feeds upon grass or seeds. An quia herbarum, & seminum Vita media vegetativa in stercoribus illis restiterit exaltanda? Set this mixture eight dayes in the Sun, (or if you be in haste, boil it over the fire half an hour, stirring it all the while,) afterward strain it, and then make it stronger by putting into it more of the foresaid sorts of dung the second time. This having stood as before, strain out, and put into it some common salt, and a little Ox-gall. Into this liquor put your seed-corn; float or scum off all the light corns that swim; let the rest lie in the li- [catchword: quor]
[p. 13]
quor 24 houres. Then take out your seed corn; and spread it thin upon a linnen cloth, and dry it in the shadow. Put this seed into barren ground (for in such it will thrive better then in a rich soil) you shall reap at least an hundred-fold.
        Another Secret worthy to be tryed by all
    such as are lovers of the Advancement of Husbandry.
IN the choice of seed-corn, prefer that wheat which is most weighty, as being more masculine and fitter for generation then the lighter gaines. In the production of plants, the earth is considered as a female, whose sterility may be much helped by the extraordinary melioration of the seed; As if you take water, which hath bin made fat with horsdung wel rotted, and afterwards dissolve in it as many pounds of Sal terræ as you intend to sowe acres. In this water steep the aforesaid weighty seed for 24 hours. So shall you have a better crop, then usuall, though you sowe but halfe the usuall quantity of seed, and though your ground be not so often ploughed, nor be at all dunged; nay though it were barren of it selfe. Your harvest will be ripe sooner by a month, and by reason of the Salt-peter, this corn will be fitter for store-houses; for there it will lie ten years uncorrupted.
            Observations and Animadversions
    upon the foregoing secrets or experiments: Written
      upon by the Author of the large Letter in the
                   Legacy of Husbandry.
COncerning the Experiment from Paris about steeping of Corn, I have told you heretofore that steeping of Barley is used in in [Kern?] to take a- [catchword: way]
[p. 14]
way all soile, (except Drake) and also all light corn, further to accelerate growth, if it be sown late; and further, if pigeons dung be added, it may be as good as half a dunging; and I think I speak high enough, for that little strength that Corn draweth by this steeping cannot do wonders; and if all that Salt, Niter, Cow-dung, Sheeps, Pigeons dung, of this brine were cast upon the earth, it would not dung a quarter of it, how then can the Extract do so much? I cannot as yet see any great reason for it, unlesse perchance there be some occult vivification of the spirits of the Seed, which as yet I am ignorant o, As for an 114 ears of Corn from one, it's nothing: I have had from Oats 140 without any steeping, or such doings; yet I have used some Art, which I may call a Secret; for I am perswaded very few can do it: but I'le tell it you, and I would all the World did know, for it is a trifle: viz. when the Corn beginneth to spread, to lay either clods or Tileshards, or any broad thing upon it to cause it to spread, and further, let not any corn grow within a foot and a half of it; and this is the great businesse which every one may try (the lands also ought to be excellently good.) Further, I have had above 2000 grains for one, or of one cut in the midst, and above 100 in one ear without steeping.
   As to the second Experiment of Brine, I think of it as of the former; onely I think it convenient to adde, that first they are to blame, who think to medicine the earth as Physicians do the Body, and therefore adde such varieties of Dungs, as Cows, Pigeons, Horse, Sheep, &c. as so many Radices, Folia, Fructus, Semina, &c. and then adde Salt and Niter as Phycsiians doe Ginger and Mace, then a little salt and Oxe-gall, as they do Musk and Amber-greese; then boil and strain them [catchword: Cape]
[p. 15]
Cape colaturam, & dissolve ut prius. I for my part think that our old Grandame the Earth ought not thus to be nursed, and suppose there is more vanity in these then in the Apothecaries bills. Secondly, Niter is costly: I fear the Crop will not pay the charges; for that I suppose the Countrey-man will consider, though our projecting Husbandman do not. Thirdly, that it's a vanity to overcharge any liquor with too great a quantity of materials. For we know that the power of every thing is finite, and if you put Salt into water, such a proportion it will dissolve, if you put above that proportion, it sinketh to the bottome, and there lies undissolved. Fourthly, that the cause of Fruitfulnesse is not onely the vita media in dung,; for when it is totally corrupted, and the vita media gone, it is very fruitfull: further, Chalke, Marle, Nitre, which are exceeding fruitfull, have no vita media. But concerning Fruitfulnesse I have sent you a short Discourse which is onely to shew you the difficulty of the Question, and to stir up some other to attempt it.
   As for the Conclusion of the processe (or Experiment) viz. you shall reap an 100 fold: let me but dig Land, if it be not extreamly barren, I'le wager to have the same increase without all these slibber slops.
   As to the last Processe which I like best, having the greatest probabilities; I answer, that to get this Sal Terræ to supply every mans occasion, is more then I know how to obtain, and the trouble great; and I suppose he that hath that Salt needeth not horse-dung; for rain-water I suppose will do better: and further, I desire to know how he would extract it, and how it differeth from Niter: This processe pleaseth me, and I suppose the grains will be excellent and long lasting.    [catchword: A]
[p. 16]
     A great Question concerning Fruitfulnesses, Offered
            to all ingenious Searchers of Nature.
  It is a main deficiencie in Husbandry, that though we by experience finde that all the foresaid materials, and divers others, as oft-tilling, Husbandry, seasons, &c. change of feed and Land, resting of Lands, fencing &c. do cause Fertility: yet we are very ignorant of the true causes of Fertility, and know not what Chalk, Ashes, Dung, Marle, Water, Air, Earth, Sun, &c. do contribute: whether something Essential, or Accidental; Material or Instrumental; Visible or Invisible: whether Saline, Sulphureous or Mercurial; or Watry, Earthy, Fiery, Aereal: or whether all things are nourished by Vapours, Fumes, Atoms, Effluvia? or by Salt, as Urine, Embrionate or non-specificate? or by Ferments, Odours Acidities? or from a Chaos, or inconfused, indigested, and unspecificated lump? or from a Spermatick, dampish vapour which ascendeth from the Centre of the Earth? or from the Influence of Heaven? or from Water onely impregnated, corrupted or fermented? or whether the Earth, by reason of the Divine Benediction hath an Infinite, multiplicative Vertue, as Fire, and the Seeds of all things have? or whether the multiplicity of Opinions of learned Philosophers (as Aristotle, Rupesc. Sendivog. Norton, Helmont, Des Cartes, Digby, White, Plat. Glaubre) concerning this Subject sheweth the great difficulty of this Question, which they at leasure may peruse. I for my part dare not venture on this vast Ocean in my small bark, lest I be swallowed up; yet if an opportunity presents, shall venture to give some hints, that some more able Pen may engage in this difficult Question which strikes at the Root of Nature, and may unlock some of her choicest treasures. The Lord Bacon hath gathered stubble (as he ingenuously and truly affirms) for the bricks of this foundation; but as yet I have not seen so much as a solid foundation plainly laid by any, on which an ingenious Man might venture to raise a noble Fabrick: I acknowledge the burthen too heavy for my shoulders.
                                    FINIS.
[p. 17]
A further Expalanation on the foregoing Letter and Cards concerning Division, or setting out of land, as to the best form. With an explanation of the Words Sal terræ, what is to be understood by them, in the fore-mentioned Experiments of Husbandry.
   SIR,
IN obedience to your Commands, I shall thus proceed to give you further hints of the Advantages that may be had by casting Lands into some such Forme, as the Plot or Card Ppresented you with formerly, doth more fully shew. If you set your house in the Centre of your Lordship, or great Farme, then are you equally distant (in a manner) to all the parts thereof, which I take to be no small conveniencie. Against this I know it may be objected, that (especially in such a place as the great Fenne) it will then be too far from the great Dreynes, neer unto which it hath been thought fit to set the Houses, that Boats may come to the door, which they may as well do, being with small charge let into your house, which charge or trouble being set against those other inconveniencies of such as are made or continued by setting the house at the end of the Land for the Dreynes sake, will be found: inconsiderable. For Example. The common way of casting out their Levels or Proportions for Tenements are into pieces of 100 Acres; (this is taken from the level in the Isle of Axholm, the casting out of the hundred in the great Fen being worse then that;) this runs backwards from the great Dreyn, where your House stands, at least 2200 yards, and all the passage you have to any of your grounds is through all that is between that part and the House; so that part of your work of Harvest lies a long mile from home. Now the same proportion of 100 Acres being cast in a square Forme, the equall sides will be about [catchword: 127]
[p. 18]
127 rods; the half of which is about 64 Rods from the Drayne to the House or Centre of your land, to which to cast a ditch from the main Dreyne of 15 foot wide, and as deep as the Dreyn, may cost, say 5 shil. per Rod, which is too much, it amounts but to 16li. and you have as good advantage by boat, as if your House had stood on the grand Dreyn and better. 'Tis true, every House that stands behinde you, which are two in number more, upon the same length, will cost just as much more either of them, but with that charge once for all, they are fitted with boatage for ever, and the whole land laid so much more dry. Now put in the other scale the Conveniencies and Profits, or prevention of losse or charge (thus:) whereas before all your ground sowed with corn, or lying for meadow, saving that next your House, must have cost you double, treble, quadruple, l, five times, six times in some cases, as far carriage as the same will do now, as oft in the day, week, moneth, year, or all years to come, as you shall have occasion; which well considered, is a most easie purchase. Secondly, as oft as your self or your servants have occasion to go to any of the farther Closes, much time must be lost in going and comming, which might have been much better spent. Thirdly, you cannot drive any Cattel to the farthest Closes, if they should lie for grasse, for which they are fittest, but though those neerer, which then may be sowed with Corn; and it is not easie to foresee the losse you may sustain by the carelessenesse of servants by so doing. Lastly, (for there are many other Inconveniencies and Wayes to losse, which for brevities sake I omit) if your own Cattel be gotten into your own Corn, or your bad neighbours into either Corn, Meadow, or Pastures, they are not altogether so soon discovered at so great distances, as that form allowes, and to put them out will prove half a dayes work almost; all which put together, will so abundantly repay that [catchword: small]
[p. 19]
small Charge, that I suppose I need enforce this no farther; and I believe, that the Landlord need not invite him to bear a great part of it; for here as you see by the Card striking a Circle from your House, at the Centre as wide as your Square will admit, all your land (except the Corners, which are destined for pasture for your stronger Cattel, and of lest present use) will be at one and the same distance from you, and the farthest (if there were any farthest) but the Semidiameter of your Circle, which is but 350 yards, or seventeen score and ten to the farthest end thereof, and but 130 yards, or six score and ten to the nearest end; the carriage alike easie and short, the inspection and use or drift alike easie and of quick dispatch, and no going through any one into the other, but having all in so close an order, and so ready at your Command for all purposes, that you will be incouraged to make more or better then common Uses of some parts of your Land, which may turne to your profit exceedingly, if you be but a little vigilant. If your ground being either sand (or any thing but boggy, morish, or peat Land) then may you plant Hedges, Orchards, Gardens, &c. your House stands in the midst, (which also I would build round, which Forme I suppose to be most of beauty, use, and least cost to him that will give his minde to consider it rightly) I would allow for the situation of my House, and some Gardens next it, of the delicater sort half an Acre of Land, and next without that for Orchards and Kitchin-Gardens, at least one Acre, and one half, or two Acres more, both cast into a round forme, one encompassing the other (for which and all that follow, I refer, to the sight of the Card itself, which sets it forth more fully to the eye) without that again, I would allow 9 Acres to be divided into severall little Closes for the Uses in the Card mentioned; some bigger, some lesser, as [catchword: I]
[p. 20]
I should see the cause, and to binde all this together, I would again encompasse all those with one undivided ring, which should contain about four Acres (deducting out of all these proportions respectively so much as was taken up with or in hedges, ditches, walls, &c.) double fenced, inwards from the little Closes, out of every of which great Closes (all of them at their neerer or smaller ends, butting upon this ring) I would have a bridge or gate strong and stanch, that I might let in what I would; but that nothing might get in without my leave. I would have from my House four equally quartered out-passages to this Middle ring and from that again straight forwards to the Outside of my Lands well ditched, gated, fenced; I would set my Bake-house, Brew-house, Wash-house, Darie, or the like, without the second Circle, viz. just without my Kitchin-Garden and Orchards, and within or at the neerer end to the House of the little Closes, and for the side of the House, as whether to set this on the North, or that on the South, &c. of the dwelling-House, I leave to every mans discretion. As for my Barnes, Stables, or Houses, if any Swine-coates; Hen-houses; Malt-Kilnes; and all that usually is called, or belongs to a Fold-stead, as rackes to feed Cattel without doors, &c. I would place at such quarters as I thought fit, some at one quarter, some at another, but all on the girdle or middle ring; in or on which I would also make so many Coney-berries (where the ground will in any way bear it) as I can fore-see, can there live, and be well maintained; where note; that they are not onely to be maintainefd by the grasse growing on the ring it selfe; but at the discretion to be let into all or any the other great or small Closes, at such times, and for such purposes, as I shall finde convenient and safe, and when they shall do me good service and no hurt, and not otherwise; upon which [catchword: tearmes]
[p. 21]
tearmes also I will let in my sheep, hogs, poultry, &c. having them all alwayes at command to be driven out again at pleasure, when they can do no more good, or are like to do hurt there; thus will my dung be bred in such places, from whence with ease I can distribute it either inwards to my Orchards and Gardens, or outwards to my tillage, &c. with wonderfull ease.
   Thus shall my Houses not be in such eminent danger all at once, in case of any unfortunate fire; thus will those kindes of nastinesse, which is in many places too frequent, be avoided, and yet the uttermost part of my Foldstead for inspection not above fivescore, or a good stones throw from my dwelling-house, to which I can go at any time in a pair of minutes, and to the other Offices in lesse then one; the corner-pieces that the grand Circle within the Square leaves, being farthest off, yet are within less then twice twelvescore, which being (in generall, for upon particular cause you may at pleasure plough them for a time, and lay them down again) allotted to be pasture for your milch-Cowes, and all such stronger Cattel as you have not present use for, as I said before, they may be driven, as occasion serves, with much ease; for this is highly worth consideration in Husbandry (for the thing is better known then considered) that a little difference in distance (though it be but one Acres length, which is but 220 yards) occasions a trouble or charge, not a little more when sowen with Corne, or let lie for Meadow, then when grazed with strong Cattel. For admit that piece to be square, when it contains 10 Acres, which may well yield at lest 20 wain-loads, or Cart-loads of corn, every of which is worth six pence or foure pence at least to carry an Acres length, and so for every Acres length that shall be added; whereas to drive an hundred Milch-cowes, a flock of sheep or the like, will require but a man or a boy, and his dog. And of what advantage dispatch is, (or may some- [catchword: times]
[p. 22]
times happen to be especially) is not easie to be valued. Now as it is apparent to me; so I think it is or may be to all men, that the Position is true, and that this Way meerly in the Contrivance, without or besides any other Improvement shall make 100 Acres, to all intents and purposes as usefull and profitable, as 150 Acres can be (that being also without any other Improvement then the meer common Forme of casting out and the uses that Form is capable of) in the common Forme. But that the common Forme is capable of good improvement, I deny not, but affirm this to be much more; for this is apt for many Uses which are altogether unfit for, and not used, nor possibly to be used upon the common Forms of Farme, and to those Uses, to which common Farmes are, or may be put, these, may be put also, but with more ease, safety, profit and pleasure abundantly. And If my new Invention for setting of Corn, and all its Parts, were put in Execution (together with some other Inventions or Contrivances for, in, or concerning other the parts of Universal Husbandry, which God hath given into my hands (and for which I praise his great Name for ever) upon a parcell of good Land in this Forme, I fear it would be, or give but too much of profit and delight for men to enjoy in this life. I shall therefore, as to my own Interest, or action, in these things, and its extension or increase, wholly refer my self to God, and to his righteous will and wise dispensation how, how far, what friends or means he will raise for me, or with me to advance these works in themselves great & good, and doubtlesse to him acceptable, while not abused; but then like all other blessings becoming curses. And, Sir, ever rest
                        Your most obliged, thankfull, and
                         affectionate Friend and Servant,
                                        C. D.
[p. 23]
An Exposition of the Words, What is meant by Sal-Terræ, in the fore-mentioned Experiment of Husbandry.
SAl-Terræ is nothing but such Niter as we commonly use, and which is drawn out of fat earths, and boiled, &c.
  If you cannot get fat earth for that purpose, take common salt, and purifie it, for by so doing you shall strengthen its attractive vertue. By which when it is in the earth, it will as it were magnetically attract to it self all the saltnesse that is neer it, and so make it selfe more strong.
                    Another.
  Sal-Terræ is not Salt-Peter, but a salt of such earth, as owes not its fatnesse to dung, but was onely impregnated from heaven: therefore it is best seeking it upon such high Lands, where it is not likely that ever any man carried up any dung or compost to lay upon it. This Earth must be handled like Salt-Peter-Earth; but when you boil the liquor, it will not shoot like Salt-Peter, but must be boiled up like other common-salt, &c.
                    Another.
  Sal-Terræ is not otherwise to be Englished, but word for word, Salt-of-Earth: and the manner of extracting of it is to calcine the earth, and to make a Lie of the ashes evaporating afterwards the same, in the same manner as the Salt of all other Ashes is made. For to separate any salt from crude Earth (except what hath been converted into Salt-Peter, or commeth forth in the company of Salt-Peter) that is, absolutely impossible. As for the difference of that Salt from Niter, that consisteth herein, that Niter is a Salt extreamly spiritous and unctuous; of which two qualities the other Salt still subsisting in its own grosse, and as it were terrestriall nature, is very little participant.
[p. 12 (24)]
An Advertisement to the Reader concerning the fore-going
            Expositions of Sal Terræ.
Gentle reader,
BE pleased to take notice that to perfect the knowledge of the Experiment, I consulted with some Friends about the meaning of Sal Terræ, what it is, and received from them the three severall Answers, which I have here imparted unto thee: but because they are not yet clear and satisfactory to my self, as somewhat varying from each other, I hope to procure for the Publick Good a more full discovery of this Subject, which one who is a great searcher into the mysteries of Nature hath an inclination to write of, & to shew that Fecundity and Nutriment as well in Vegetables, as in Animals, doth wholly depend on Nitre, the Nature whereof he conceives to be known to very few, if to any at all. And as for Sal-peter, whereof hitherto the use hath chiefly been known in the making of Gun-powder, there are some endeavours afoot, whereby the usefulnesse therof in husbandry also will be made known, which in due time may be imparted unto this Common-wealth; for I finde some of my noble and worthy Friends of the same opinion with my self, who are perswaded (to use the words of one of them in his Letter to me.) That the matter, by which men are killed and fed, is but one and the same, and differs onely in the minde and hand that uses it; and that God will go beyond the Devil in his own Materials of destruction, by changing the use of them into a Blessing; For that is most agreeable to his power and Goodnesse, to raise best out of worse, by changing onely the Use:
  In whom I rest alwayes,
                         Thy most willing and
                          assured Servant,
                           Samuel Hartlib.