3 January 1836. The Isle of Thanet Corn Drill
The Duke and Duchess of Buckingham and Chandos were greatly concerned about the fate of the unemployed poor on their estates. Arthur Octavious Baker, steward of the Avington estate in Hampshire, wrote to the Duke about the need to mechanise the sowing of wheat:
I have long been particularly desirous of having on the Farm here, an Isle of Thanet Corn Drill, but have always felt some doubt as to whether it would work effectually on our strong soils. This doubt is now completely dissipated by my having seen it most advantageously employed for the last two years by a Kentish farmer recently settled at Kilmeston; & I shall be very glad to have your Grace’s leave to purchase one for this farm. The price is 12 guineas. It would be absolutely essential that I should have a Kentish man to go with it for about two months this Spring.