The British Association at Dundee.: Section M.: Agriculture.: From The Opening Address


INTEREST in the practice of improved husbandry was first aroused in England by the books of Fitzherbert. The extent to which this author stimulated agriculture may be inferred from the appreciation with which his works were received in his own day, and copied by others for a century. He himself does not appear to have been acquainted with the classical writers. He describes the English practice with which he was familiar; he quotes frequently from the Scriptures and refers to early religious works, but only in writing of animal diseases, when he cites the “Sayinge of the Frenche man,” is there any indication that he was influenced by foreign authors. Fitzherbert's “Boke of Husbandry” and “Surueyenge.” while they are free from the direct influence of Roman writers, show us, nevertheless, that the English agriculture of his day owed much to Roman traditions. The careful business methods and accounting of the farm bailiffs of the Middle Ages, with which Thorold Rogers has acquainted us, wete the methods whrch Fitzherbert learned and counselled, as they were the methods which Columella taught.

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