Matthew and George Culley: Farming Letters, 1798-1804

August 2006
2 black and white, 1 line illustrations
670 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Publications of the Surtees Society
ISBN: 9780854440658
Format: Hardback
Surtees Society

Matthew and George Culley: Farming Letters, 1798-1804

Edited by Anne Orde

Letters from two farming brothers provide fascinating insights into rural life at the turn of the eighteenth century.
The brothers Matthew and George Culley were successful farmers in Northumberland in the late eighteenth century. They contributed greatly to the improvement of agriculture in their area and beyond, notably through sheep breeding [the `Culley sheep' or Border Leicester], and also by practising and inculcating the use of modern techniques of husbandry and modern crop varieties.
The letters presented here, written to the steward of the farms they owned in County Durham, give a detailed day by day account of the Culleys' farming activities, advice and instructions on cultivation, the movement and selling of livestock, the state of the markets, local and family news, and comments on the state of the country. Written in a lively, readable style, they provide a vivid picture of and commentary upon the life of northern England at the time of important change in agriculture and society. Dr ANNE ORDE was until her retirement Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Durham.

Table of Contents

Introduction -
Editorial Method -
`An Account of the Names of Animals at Different Ages' by George Culley -
The Letters 1798 -
1799 -
1800 -
1801 -
1802 -
1803 -
1804 -


A substantial volume that will be of interest to historians concerned with the question of how ideas about agricultural improvement were implemented in the day-to-day management of a business. A dynamic record of farm management. AGRICULTURAL HISTORY
Historically informative and interesting to read. EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY STUDIES
A treasure trove of detailed information. [...] [The letters] are especially important in uncovering the rationale behind the day-to-day activities of a very successful farming business. [...] This is an important collection which deserves to be widely known and examined in great detail. It is a 'must' for all agricultural historians interested in the period and has much to recommend it to scholars from other disciplines. AGRICULTURAL HISTORY REVIEW

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