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Ismay Writings 9

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1755. Agriculture in Mirfield.

Tillage is ye most ancient and honourable employment in ye world. The soil being of very different natures, produces all sorts of grain. Wheat and rye called hard corn are sow in great plenty, barley, oats of various sorts, peas, beans, vetches, rapes, and turnips, with wolds for ye dyers are frequently sown in Mirfield. Clover was introduced into this parish about 60 years ago, and turnips for the feeding of cattle began to be sown in fields much later, and are great improvers of land; another good piece of husbandry here is ye draining of wet lands, and turning the water over ye dry ground designed for hay or pasture; in ye winter and spring time some sour marshy grounds are made arable by spading the turf from the surface and then burning it in heaps; this is called pairing or burning, and generally yields a plentiful crop of wheat or rapes ye first year without any other manure than ye turf ashes. For stiff lands there is no better manure than lime and coal ashes, this is looked on to be an excellent compost, better mixed than laid on separately.
We have very little common field land. The advantages arising from inclosures have been long experienced in this parish. The fence is white thorn, and thrives greatly with us, being often cut and kept in repair. The other manure that we improve land with besides cow and horse dung, lime and cold ashes, is soot, soap ashes, and rape dust, but these last are used only by a few persons in this place, and that but seldom.


Extracts From The Diary Of Rev  J Ismay

A chronological account of some memorable events in and about Mirfield, &c.

May 18th- Ripponden Flood.

Nov. 19th- Bournans Flood.

An apple tree near the Vicarage blossomed and set for fruit nine times, and produced ripe fruit at five different times this year, and what is very remarkable it was in blossom on Xmas Day, and a red rose full blown, in the hedge by it.

Dec. 30th- An earthquake felt at Mirfield. I perceived my bed to rock, and the chamber to shake, at Kirklees, where I then lived.

Methodism first propagated at Mirfield, by Ben Ingham, clerk. A great frost which began on Christmas Day and lasted 9 weeks.

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