Monday, February 26, 2007

Edward Ferrars, Farmer

"Mrs. Jennings's prophecies, though rather jumbled together, were
chiefly fulfilled; for she was able to visit Edward and his wife in their
Parsonage by Michaelmas, and she found in Elinor and her husband, as she really
believed, one of the happiest [couples] in the world. They had in fact nothing
to wish for, but the marriage of Colonel Brandon and Marianne, and rather better
pasturage for their cows. "

One can only speculate as to what Parson Ferrars' cows actually looked like, but this is a possibility. The Sheeted Somerset breed was much mentioned from about 1722 onwards . Low's book of 1842 describes both polled and horned varieties , but also indicates that they were becoming rare. One particular herd was associated with Broadlands House in Hampshire from 1736 but elswhere it seems to have died out. Pity!
One of the worlds most famous bovine products was first created and stored in the limestone caves near the Somerset village of Cheddar, which makes me wonder how much of a cheese-maker Mrs Ferrars was.