[Cattle Harness]

Artist(s) : Arthur Young (Draughtsman)

Greyscale ink wash drawing of a harness, with scale in inches.

Inscribed in Image

  • Text within boundaries of image – Scale of half an inch to a foot
  • Instructions to binder – 270

Image Details

Genre Scientific or Technical illustration
Technique Wash drawings
Subject(s) Agriculture, Rural life
Keywords(s) Agricultural equipment, Harnesses
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 15 cm x 20 cm
Published / created 1780

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account A Tour in Ireland [Young; copy with unique drawings]
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. p. 270
Source copy National Library of Ireland LO 10203
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

BULLOCKS DRAWN BY THE HORNS. / Lord Shannon upon going into tillage, found that the expense of horses was so great, that it eat up all the profit of the farm; which made him determine to use bullocks; he did it in the common method of yokes and bows, but they performed so indifferently, and with such manifest uneasiness, that he imported the French method of drawing by the horns; and in order to do this effectually, he wrote to a person at Bourdeaux to hire him a man who was practised in that method. Upon the correspondent being applied to, he represented difficulties attending it, the man who was spoken to having been in Germany for the same purpose. Upon which Lord Shannon gave directions that every thing should be bought and sent over which the labourer wished to bring with him. Accordingly, a bullock of the best sort, that had been worked three years, was purchased; also a hay-cart, a plough, harrows, and all the tackle for harnessing them by the horns, which, with the man, were sent over. His salary was to be 400 livres a year, with board, &c. The bullock, 218 livres; tackle for two bullocks, 36. Two carts, 314. A plough and harrow, 123, which, with other expenses, carne to 45l. 17s. and freight 161. 16s. Upon the whole, the experiment cost, from first to last, to bring it thoroughly to bear, about an hundred pounds. His Lordship is persuaded, that the first year of his introducing it at large on his farm, saved him the whole. He has pursued the method ever since, and with the greatest fuccess. He finds the bullocks so perfectly at their ease, that it is a pleasure to see them; for first breaking up lays, and for cross ploughing, he uses four, but in all succeeding earths, only two; nor more for the first ploughing of stubbles: I saw six ploughs doing this in a wheat stubble, and they did it five or six inches deep with great ease. Upon first introducing it, there was a combination among all his men against the practice, but Lord Shannon was determined to carry his point; in this matter, he followed a course that had all imaginable success: one lively sensible boy took to the oxen, and worked them readily. His Lordship at once advanced this boy to eight pence a day: this did the business at once; others followed the example, and since that he has had numbers who could // manage them, and plough as well as the Frenchman. They plough an acre a day with ease; and carry very great loads of corn and hay, coals, &c. Four bullocks in the French cart brought twelve barrels of coals, ship measure, each 5 cwt. or three tons, but the tackle of the fore couple breaking, the other two drew the load above a mile to a forge. Two of them drew 35 cwt. of flag stone, three miles with ease; but Lord Shannon does not in common work them in this manner, three tons he thinks a proper load for four bullocks. Upon the bailiff, Mr. Berc, mentioning loads drawn by these oxen, that appeared to me most extraordinarily great, I expressed many doubts; his Lordship immediately ordered the French harvest cart to be loaded half a mile from the reeks: it was done; 1020 sheafs of wheat were laid on it, and two oxen drew it without difficulty; we then weighed forty sheafs, the weight 251 lb. at which rate the 1020 came to 6375 lb. or above three tons, which is a vast weight for two oxen to draw; I am very much in doubt whether in yoaks they would have stirred the cart so loaded. Lord Shannon has an excellent way of managing all his cattle in one circumstance, which is to mark them on the horn with numbers, and keeps a book ruled in columns, and engraved, by which means, on turning to the number, he sees every particular of the beast, which are inserted in the columns. He trains them for work at three to four years old, gently breaking them in at once, without any difficulty. [pp. 270-271]