by BLAIKIE, Francis, 1770-1856?
Scottish agriculturist, writer and manager of Thomas William Coke's estates at Holkham. 15 ALs, one to Richard Mackenzie Bacon, editor of the Norwich Mercury, the remaining to Bacon's son and edit orial successor, Richard Novare Bacon. Holkham and Melrose, 1821-56. 63 pag es, some tears, minor loss. With complete typed transcription. An important 35 year correspondence from one of the ablest Scottish agriculturists of the 19th century, for 12 years manager at Holkham, the world renowned experimental estate of Thomas William Coke, Earl of Leicester, recognized as one of the great achievements of English agriculture. The earliest letters are written during Blaikie's tenure at Holkham, and deal mostly with the publication of R. N. Bacon's Report of the Transactions at the Holkham Sheep Shearing. Following Coke's death in 1842, Blaikie retired to Scotland and the remaining letters are written from his farm at St. Helens, Melrose. Bacon's proposed history of Coke and Holkham elicits from Blaikie several substantial letters regarding the estate and those who contributed to its success. There is lengthy comment on the controversy regarding the placement of Coke's memorial, and the in-fighting and goings on at Holkham following Coke's death. In response to Bacon's request for biographical details for his work, Blaikie supplies a long and detailed account of the introduction of the turnip into England and his own contributions to perfecting its cult ure as a field crop. Blaikie himself was the author of a handful of scarce pamphlets, published by Coke primarily for distribution among the Holkham tenants, and in one of the letters he discusses these works. Another letter is devoted to his theories regarding an unsolved Norfolk murder making news at the time. Active well into his eighties, Blaikie writes with clarity and a wry sense of humor. These are the letters of an energetic and articulate individual, full of keen observation on politics and affairs of the day, agricultural and economic policy, as well as more purely rural matters. Altogether a fine batch of primary material regarding a crucial period in English agriculture.. (Inventory #: 743)