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Crest of Sir Thomas Storey

Copyright © 2007

This page was last updated on
Thursday, 31 January 2008
by Brad Storey


About the year 1842 an agricultural weekly paper, "The New Farmers' Journal," was established in London under the direct patronage of the Prince Consort and the Royal Agricultural Society, and Mr. A. S. Moffat contributed articles on agricultural chemistry, which were highly commended. On one occasion in the House of Lords, Earl Stanhope - at that time "First Commissioner of Woods and Forests" - when making a speech on agricultural depression, said that he entertained brighter hopes for the future of agriculture when such able men as Trimmer, Blacker, and Moffat were devoting their attention towards enlightening the farmers of this country with valuable information necessary to the successful prosecution of their important calling.

In 1848 he delivered before the Newcastle Farmers' Club a lecture, which was published as a pamphlet, and re-copied into every agricultural paper in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Professor Johnstone, of Durham, who was the next to follow as a lecturer, said in his address that this lecture was the best that had ever been delivered before the Club up to that time. At the Hexham Show of the Northumberland Agricultural Society, shortly after the above lecture was delivered, Duke Algernon of Northumberland, who was chairman, paid a high compliment to Mr. Moffat for his lecture, as also did Sir Matthew White Ridley.

[From notes written by the late Arthur Storey Moffat. - J. MOFFAT.]

In the Alnwick and County Gazette for Saturday, 16th November, 1907, the following interesting article appeared, headed "Long Service on a Farm":-

"In the county of Northumberland, in which agricultural pursuits are to a large extent predominant, the following record of the lengthy service of a hind under one master cannot fail to be of interest. Probably it is an instance unique of its kind. An assertion that is not infrequently made is that hinds are generally rather nomadic in their habits, that their service under one master rarely extends over a few years. I have heard of a hind who, although most comfortable in every respect in his situation, told his master he would be compelled to leave at the usual term. When asked for an explanation, he stated that it was his custom to move every year in order that his beds, furniture, etc., might be thoroughly aired and cleaned. The difficulty, however, was soon got over by the master allowing him to have the 'flitting day' to himself, so that he might have all furniture carried into the back yard to get the usual annual airing. An assertion of this kind, however, cannot be made against the hind in question, and seeing that the writer of the interesting record is personally acquainted with both the hind and his master, he can vouch for the accuracy of his statement. Situated some nine miles from the ducal town of Alnwick is the extensive farm of Beanley, one of the largest farms in the county. The farm, which is the property of his Grace the Duke of Northumberland, has been in the hands of the Storey family for some hundreds of years, the present head of which is Mr. Ralph Storey-Storey, a well-known magistrate in North Northumberland. It has often been a matter of comment how few are the changes that take place among the many workers on this farm. For generations the same family continues to find occupation there, but of them all the Wilson family stands first as having served the longest in this peaceful retreat lying under the shadow of the Cheviots. The head of the present family, by name John Wilson, has worked under the above - mentioned Mr. Storey for no less a period than fifty-one years of unbroken service, probably an instance without a parallel. For over two hundred years members of the Wilson family have served under Storeys at Beanley, and members of the same family have held cottages and an acre of land under his Grace the Duke of Northumberland for the like period. As both Wilson and his master are hearty and in good health, this long period bids fair to be farther extended, and it goes without saying that readers will be at one with the writer in earnestly wishing that it be so. Some little time ago, at a Show held at Milfield, a small monetary prize was offered to the hind who had the longest service under one master. Wilson was one of the entrants, and carried off the prize easily. Before the writer is the