(FARMING). [Account book]. ~ Livre de compte des chaptels & amodiations des métayers Jean Rateau, François le Beuf, Philibert Baudon, & Isac le Beuf avec le dénombrement des bestiaux qu’ils avoient où que leurs ay remit dans le tems du compte que j’ay fait avec eux le 9eme de Novembre 1733 [Burgundy, 1733-1758].
Manuscript, 4to (250 × 190 mm), pp. 152 (actually 151, with 44 missed in contemporary pagination), plus several blanks at end. Some dampstaining. Stitched, without spine, in contemporary marbled paper covered boards, leather ties. Rather worn, upper cover loose but cords secure, with a few leaves loose.
Some twenty years’ accounts kept on behalf of a Burgundian landlord, of 5 métayer tenant farmers, who farmed on his land, with his resources, in exchange for a share (notionally a half) of the profit. These were principally livestock farmers raising cattle and sheep, so the accounts provide interesting first-hand details of the economics of the French meat and wool industries of the period. All the farmers are named on the title-page, but Isac Lebeuf’s farm was run after his death by his widow, Marie, so the account for 1736 is in her name. Prices are given for animals bought as stock and then sold to butchers or sheared and the fleeces sold. The accounts give a very clear and intelligible picture of the initial capital of each farm, of introduced stock, of running costs and of the shares of yearly profits.