The Experimental Farmer: being strictures on various branches of husbandry and agriculture, drawn from a long series of practice in different parts of Great-Britain; containing Observations on planting and Preserving Young Trees, with an approved method of thinning them, to become timber. Likewise, Plans for Laying-out Land, on a five and four field system. Also, a new method to bring the most barren land into cultivation, for meadows and sheep walks: and a variety of other useful information in every branch of this art, absolutely necessary for every person, from the opulent farmer, to the proprietors of small pieces of land
London: printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, [publisher's advertisements dated September 1820]. 8vo. (8 7/8 x 5 3/8 inches). Half-title, 1p. errata, 16pp. publisher's catalogue at end dated September 1820. Occasional wood-engraved decorations.
Original boards, rebacked.
First edition, second issue, of this charming work, full of fascinating practical information on land management at the turn of the 19th century.
This appears to be a second, remainder issue of the first edition: the dedication is dated 1806, the text has occasional watermark dates of 1804, but the title is a cancel issued by Sherwood, Neely & Jones who are also responsible for the publisher's catalogue at the end which is dated 1820. The first issue was dated 1806 and published by T. Ostell. No copies of the present issue are listed as having sold at auction in the past thirty years, and only one example of the 1807 issue. "Although this Work may not be written in fine stile and polished language ... it will be found to be clear and comprehensive ... suited as well to the understanding of the refined Gentleman as to that of the industrious farmer' (introduction, p.ix). The work is largely made up from many short entries under numerous sub-headings, and reads like a note-book of observations and calculations: a charmingly straight-forward work which nevertheless imparts a great deal of practical knowledge. For example, in the section on planting trees, Tibbs extols the financial benefits of growing trees for timber and in an innovative way combines the purely financial calculations of the costs and profits of planting an acre of land with practical instructions on how to plant and manage the plantation for the period needed to see a good profit (42 years). According to the introduction, Thomas Tibbs received his initial training in agriculture from his grandfather at Fidden Farm in Wiltshire, from there he moved to the Chiltern Hundreds where he farmed on his own land. He subsequently worked for Charles Hill, J. Sainsbury, and King George III's Flemish Farm before becoming Land Steward to Lord Grenville (the dedicatee) at Burnham in Buckinghamshire: this wide practical experience allowing him to write with authority on the numerous subjects he covers in this work.
Cf. Kress 19367 (1807 issue).