1 p.l., 7, , 6 pp. Small 4to, attractive antique calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: Printed by T.F., sold by W. Ley, 1657.
First edition and rather scarce. Following Shaw’s essay on the dung roller, which he invented, the remainder of the book consists of two texts, the first starting “How to Order any Land, so as it may reteyne all the moysture that falleth thereon: and to Improve it thereby,” and the second starting “An Easie and Profitable Order in Tilling of Ground to improve it and make it Fertile.”
“The main points of interest about this work are its mention of the use of a manuring ‘Rowler’ or ‘Barrow,’ which seems to anticipate the modern manuring drill, and the advice it contains to plough in wide lands so that the following season the spaces between may be ploughed into lands, thus resting some part of the field each year and getting continuous heavy crops, which sounds rather similar to, although not precisely the same, as Tull’s Horse-Houghing Husbandry. It is a pity the book contains no description or drawing of the manuring rowler or barrow. The system of cultivation of barren lands Shaw recommends is curious.”–Fussell, The Old English Farming Books from Fitzherbert to Tull 1523 to 1730, p. 53.
Fine copy, the variant with the swash “E” on the title and “turally inclined thereunto” on the final line of 2A4v. Short tear in A2 repaired, and catchword of A3 a little shaved.
❧ McDonald, Agricultural Writers, from Sir Walter of Henley to Arthur Young, 1200-1800, p. 109–“written to exploit a certain invention called a dung roller, and he also treats on digging, trenching, dunging, draining, and watering according to the custom of the day.”.
Item ID: 6518