'A husbandman', said Markham, 'is the master of the earth, turning barrenness into fruitfulness, whereby all commonwealths are maintained and upheld. His labour giveth liberty to all vocations, arts, and trades to follow their several functions with peace and industrie. What can we say in this world is profitable where husbandry is wanting, it being the great nerve and sinew which holdeth together all the joints of a monarchy?' And he is confirmed by Young: 'Agriculture is, beyond all doubt, the foundation of every other art, business, and profession, and it has therefore been the ideal policy of every wise and prudent people to encourage it to the utmost.' Yet of this important industry, still the greatest in England, there is no history covering the whole period.

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