The Agricultural Reformer

  • J. T. Ward


Major agricultural improvement requires a reasonable measure of political stability and some certainty of ownership, conditions which came late to the Borders. From time beyond record the Grahams had lived there. They themselves claimed descent from

the renowned Graeme, who, anno 404, commanded King Fergus the Second’s army and was governor of Scotland in the minority of his grand-child, Eugene II. In the year 420 this gallant person made a breach in the mighty wall which the Emperor Severus had erected between the rivers Forth and Clyde, which has ever since borne the name of Graeme’s Dyke. From the time of this eminent man, the Graemes are to be found in the records of Scotland, enjoying the very highest influence …

A modern observer may be content with John Burke’s comment that ‘it is certain, however, that no family of North Britain can boast of greater antiquity’.1 And this long genealogy had considerable influence on James Graham.


Mortgage Debt Stone Quarry Fervent Supporter Agricultural Revolution Great Antiquity 


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  1. 1.
    John Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire (1845 ed.), 448, 697.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Ibid., 403–12, 431–2; William Dickinson, ‘On the Farming of Cumberland’ (Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, xiii, 1852);Google Scholar
  3. cf. J. Bailey, G. Culley, General View of the Agriculture of the County of Cumberland (1794).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Torrens, op. cit., i. 148 et seq.; Dickinson, loc. cit.; Arvel B. Erickson, ‘Sir James Graham, Agricultural Reformer’ (Agricultural History, xxiv, 1950, 170–4)Google Scholar
  5. David Spring, ‘A Great Agricultural Estate: Netherby under Sir James Graham, 1820–1845’ (ibid., xxix, 1955, 73–81); Lonsdale, op. cit., ii. 29–30.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Lonsdale, op. cit., ii. 31, 34–35, 40; Torrens, op. cit., i. 154–8. See R. Trow-Smith, A History of British Livestock Husbandry, 1700–1900 (1959), 112–14Google Scholar
  7. Lord Ernie, English Farming, Past and Present (1961 ed.), 180.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Erickson, Dickinson, loc. cit.; Lonsdale, op. cit., ii. 35–39; Parker, op. cit., i. 57–58; Sir J. R. G. Graham, ‘On the Deanston Frequent Drain System’ (Jour. R. Ag. Soc. of Eng., i, 1840).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mrs. Elizabeth Sheldon, who had a life interest in the estate, was the widow of Graham’s uncle Charles. Of Graham’s sisters, Elizabeth Frances died in 1810, Elizabeth Anne married the Rev. William Waddi- love in 1816, Caroline married Wilfrid Lawson in 1821, Harriet Anne married Frederick Madan in 1832 and Charlotte married Sir George Musgrave in 1828.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sir J. R. G. Graham, Com and Currency, in an Address to the Land Owners (1826), 10, 11, 58–68, 99 et seq., 113.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Quarterly Review, xxv (1826); Westminster Review, vi (1826); G. D. H. and M. Cole (eds.), Rural RidesBy William Cobbett (1930), i. 394–5, 426–7, 442–3, 464, 467.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Parliamentary Papers, 1874, lxxii: ‘Return of Owners of Land, 1873’ [C. 1097: 1875], i: Cumberland section, 13; John Bateman, The Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland (1879 ed.), 184; Parl. Papers, 1895, xvii: ‘Royal Commission on Agriculture. England. Report … on … Cumberland’ [C. 7915:1895], 26–27, 35.Google Scholar

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© J. T. Ward 1967

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  • J. T. Ward

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