The Farming Year

Month Work that needed to be done Weather the farmers wanted
January mending and making tools, repairing fences showers
February carting manure and marl showers
March ploughing, manure and marl spreading dry, no severe frosts
April spring sowing of seed, harrowing showers and sunshine
May digging ditches, first ploughing of fallow fields showers and sunshine
June haymaking, second ploughing of fallow field, sheep dry weather
July haymaking, sheep-shearing, weeding of crops dry early, showers later
August harvesting war, dry weather
September threshing, ploughing, pruning fruit trees showers
October last ploughing of the year, autumn sowing of seed dry, no severe frosts
November collecting acorns for pigs showers and sunshine
December mending and making tools, killing animals showers and sunshine

Average rainfall per month in Britain (in inches)

month inches month inches month inches month inches
January 2.3 April 1.9 July 2.5 October 6.5
February 3.5 May 1.9 August 3.0 November 3.0
March 2.1 June 1.9 September 3.8 December 3.1

Primary Sources

(1) John Brown, A Memoir of Robert Blincoe (1828)

A girl named Mary Richards, who was thought remarkably handsome when she left the workhouse, and, who was not quite ten years of age, attended a drawing frame, below which, and about a foot from the floor, was a horizontal shaft, by which the frames above were turned. It happened one evening, when her apron was caught by the shaft. In an instant the poor girl was drawn by an irresistible force and dashed on the floor. She uttered the most heart-rending shrieks! Blincoe ran towards her, an agonized and helpless beholder of a scene of horror. He saw her whirled round and round with the shaft - he heard the bones of her arms, legs, thighs, etc. successively snap asunder, crushed, seemingly, to atoms, as the machinery whirled her round, and drew tighter and tighter her body within the works, her blood was scattered over the frame and streamed upon the floor, her head appeared dashed to pieces - at last, her mangled body was jammed in so fast, between the shafts and the floor, that the water being low and the wheels off the gear, it stopped the main shaft. When she was extricated, every bone was found broken - her head dreadfully crushed. She was carried off quite lifeless.