Front Page Titles (by Subject) [CHAPTER VIII]: Of the Cœlum and Solum of Ireland. - The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1
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[CHAPTER VIII]: Of the Cœlum and Solum of Ireland. - Sir William Petty, The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1 
The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, together with The Observations upon Bills of Mortality, more probably by Captain John Graunt, ed. Charles Henry Hull (Cambridge University Press, 1899), 2 vols.
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Of the Cœlum and Solum of Ireland.
BY the Cœlum or Sky, I understand the Heat, Coldness, Drowth, Moisture, Weight and Susceptions of Air, and the Impressions made upon it, viz. The state of the Winds, as whether the Wind blows in Ireland in comparison with, or differently from other Places; as from what points of the Compass the Wind blows most frequently or fiercely, and what proportion of the whole year from each Point. 2. As to Heat and Cold, I conceive the same ought to be measur'd by the Weather-Glass or Thermometer. 3. As to Wetness or Moisture, by the shrinking of Lute-strings, by the quantity of Rain falling upon a certain quantity of level superficies, and by the quantity of Water dried up with the same time out of a Vessel of like Figure, and equal dimensions.
As for other changes in the Air, supposed to depend upon the gravity or levity thereof, I suppose the same is to be known by the Instrument call'd the Barrimeter. Lastly, To the much or little Sunshine, whereof Ireland hath been much abus'd; the same is to be measur'd by an Instrument found for that purpose.‖
Wherefore since it is small satisfaction to say the Air of Ireland is mild and temperate, inclin'd to moisture, &c. And since the true and clear knowledge thereof depends upon several long, tedious, and reiterated Observations, simple and comparative, made in the several parts of Ireland, in the several Seasons of the Year, and compar'd with the like Observations, made with the same or like Instruments, in the several parts of the Earth; we must for the present only say, that there are in being the several Instruments following, viz.
Which Instruments many men must make use of in the several parts of Ireland, and the rest of the World, and corresponding with each other, communicate and correct their Observation by Reason.
In the mean time let it suffice to say, that at Dublin the Wind blows 2 parts of 5 from the South-West to the West, one part from South-West to the South; one other from the West to North-East, and the rest from the North-East to the South: 3 parts of 10 between West and South-West between S.W. and S.S.E. between S.S.E. and N.E. by1 N. N.E. by N. to N. & W.2 or very near thereabouts.
2. That from the 10th of Septemb. to the 10th of March, it blows a kind of Storm for some time or other almost every day.
3. That the Snow lies not long in the lower ground of Ireland. Nor doth it freeze more than what it doth in France, Holland, or England.‖
4. The Rain falling at Dublin and London for the Month October, 1663. was but 20 to 19. That the windiness of the same Month was at Dublin 20. and at London but 17.
5. As for the healthfulness of the Climate, City, or other space of Land; It must be first known how many people are in a certain day living in it, and then the quota pars which die per Ann. for many years together; and for the fruitfulness, how many Births.
6. As to Longævity, enquiry must be made into some good old Register of (suppose) 20 persons, who all were born and buried in the same Parish, and having cast up the time which they all lived as one man, the Total divided by 20 is the life of each one with another; which compared with the like Observation in several other places, will shew the difference of Longævity, due allowance being made for extraordinary contingences, and Epidemical Diseases happening respectively within the period of each Observation.
Wherefore Matters being not as yet prepared for these Experiments, I can say nothing clearly of them; Only, That it seems by the best Estimates and Approaches that I have been able to make, that London is ‖ more healthful than Dublin by 3 in 32.
Having said thus much of the Cœlum or Air, or rather of the Ingenium, and way of distinguishing Airs in a better manner than usual: We come next to try the nature of the Soil by the like Expedients.
To which purpose, first know, that the Perch of Ireland is 21 Foot, that of England but 16½; Wherefore the Acre of 160 Perches is as 121 to 196, that is 121 Irish Acres do make 196 English Statute Acres. Now in Ireland a Milch-Cow, if English breed, upon two Acres of Pasture, and with as much Hay as will grow upon ½ Acre of Meadow, will yield prœter propter 3 Gallons of Milk for 90 days, one with another, and one Gallon at a Medium for 90 more, and for 90 more scarce ¼ of a Gallon one day with another, and for 90 more, dry. Wherefore it follows, that such a Cow upon such feeding, gives above one Tun and half; nay, 384 Gallons of Milk per Ann. And that if the Rent of the said two Acres of Pasture be 5 s per Ann. and of the half Acre of Meadow 3. in all 8 s. That the Gallon of Milk comes but to a Farthing, expecting what the value and hazard of the Cow, and the labour of milking and looking to her, shall add unto that price; which I suppose not above as much more.‖
The said quantity of Milk will make 2½ C. of Raw-Milk-Cheese, and 1 C. of Whey-Butter, besides Whey for the Swine: Or else 2 C. of Butter, and 1 C. of Skim-Milk-Cheese, besides Whey as abovesaid, for Drink to the People, and Food for Swine.
Mem. That one Bull suffices for about 20 Cows. That a Cow continues Milch and bearing, from 3 or 4 years old to 12, sometimes 20, tho seldom suffer'd to live so long. And that three Dairy-women will manage 20 Cows, and do much work of other kind between while; and that one Man will look to them and their Food.
An Ox of 6 or 7 years old will not require so much feeding as a Milch-Cow, but will be maintained with two Acres of good Pasture only, or with 1½ Acres of Pasture, and ½ Acres of Hay, in hard Winters.
An Horse requires 2½ Acres, as a Garran, and a small Horse or Irish Garran 1 ⅔, or thereabouts.
Eight or ten Sheep are equivalent for feeding to an Ox1 .
The difference between lean Beef and fat Beef in value is as 5 to 9.
In Sheep the increase of their Flesh, Skin and Tallow, is about the same proportion. And yet Sheeps Flesh is sold dearer than Beef, because of the great trouble and hazard about Sheep.
A Fleece of Wool in Ireland is about 2l. weight.
An Hog eats such things as Sheep and Oxen do not, viz. Roots, Acorns, and consequently the same Land will maintain a proportion of Hogs above Sheep4 and Oxen. One-Cowherd will serve an hundred Oxen; one Shepherd 1000 Sheep.‖
From all that hath been said, we collect, that the natural and genuine Rent of Lands in Ireland, not that of Money, or Gold and Silver; is
Of Milk, deducting Charges—Gall.
Of Beef and Mutton—————
Of Hides and Skin—————
So as where Lands produce more or less per Ann. communibus annis of these Commodities, the same is to be accompted more or less fertil than that of Ireland.
Moreover from hence we shall endeavour to gather the number of Cattel in Ireland, as followeth, viz.
There being 7½ Millions of Acres of good Meadow, Arrable, and Pasture-Land in Ireland, besides Bog with Shrub-wood, &c. commonly call'd unprofitable Land; and for that ½ a Million supplies the Inhab:tants with Corn for Bread and Drink, Man and Beast, Hemp, Flax and Rape, as shall be hereafter shewn1 from the number of the people, their manner of eating, from the number of Mills, and from the value of the Tythes, &c. supposing the other 7 Millions to be competently well stockt, let us first ‖ see how many Houses there may probably be.
To which purpose, remember that there are 184 M. Families, whose Houses have but one or no Chimney. Now I guess, that about ⅓ of this number keep a small Horse call'd a Garran, which is 61,000 Garrans for Tillage; and I suppose that the 16,000 Families have for the Coach and Saddle near 40 M. Horses. So as in Ireland there are about 100 M. Horses, whose Food requires 100 M. Acres of good Pasture, 50 M. Acres of Meadow, and the ⅙ of an Acre of Oat-Land, viz. about 16,000 Acres. In all 166 M. Acres: Or if the Horses be such as require little or no Hay and Oats, as the Horses of poor people do not, then as aforesaid 2 or 2 ⅓2 Acres is allowed to each Horse.
The Wooll which is usually exported, being a little above 2 Millions of pounds, grows upon 1000 M. Sheep: And the Wooll which cloaths the Nation, being about 1100 M Bodies, at—1. each for Cloths, Hats and Stockins, requires 6000 M. more; and so 3 Millions more of Sheep, in all 4 Millions. The feeding whereof at 5 to an Acre, require 800 M. Acres. So as Horse and Sheep require one Million of Acres. So as there remains ½, a Millions being allow'd ‖ for all other Cattel, Beasts and Vermine) 5½ Millions3 for great Cattel, which will feed about 3 Millions of that Species.
Of Females 1500 M. whereof ⅖ are milch-Cows, viz. 600 M. 600 M. Calves and Heifers under 3, and 300 of other sorts.
Where note, that of all the Black-Cattel above-named, there are 60 M. exported alive, and 30 M. dead in Barrels. Of the Sheep not 100 M.
Of Butter, whereof one of the 600 M. Milch-Cows may well yield 1 C. weight per Ann. but 26000 C, or the proceed of 26000 Cows. From whence may be seen whether the Trade of those Commodities be yet at best: For I guess that the ⅙ of the whole Stock may be annually spent at home, or exported abroad.
It remains only to say, that one Irish Acre of Irish Land, requires of Seed, and returns as followeth.
One horse plows 10 Acres, and there goes 1 Man to 3 Horses.
S, ‘NEly to N & W.’
In the margin of S, ‘A sheep weighs 80lb.’
1719 inserts ‘The Offal about 60l,’ and sums up ‘In all 784l or 7 C.wt.’
1719, ‘Consequently the said Ox gaineth in weight one year with another near 1301.’
1719 omits this paragraph.
S, ‘above…. sheep.’
Chap. XII. discusses the diet of the inhabitants of Ireland.
S, 1719, ‘2½.’
S, ‘remains (½ a million being allow'd for all other Cattle, beasts, and Vermine) 5½ Millions.’