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Board of Agriculture 1793%E2%80%931822
A Fat Pembrokeshire Ox from an 1800 book by George Garrard on British cattle, commissioned by the Board of Agriculture
Founded by Royal Charter on 23 August 1793 as the Board or Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture and Internal Improvement, it was dissolved in June 1822. Though its founders hoped the board would become a department of state it was never more than a private society which spread useful knowledge and encouraged improvements in farming. The president was Sir John Sinclair and the secretary was Arthur Young; it was given an annual parliamentary grant of £3,000.
The Board was a closed corporation, with a mixture of appointed, ex officio and elected members. Ehrman considers its constitution likely derived from Scottish societies familiar to Sinclair. Its charter was semi-official, and it spent public money, its finances being partly subscriptions and part government grant. It did not have to supply accounts to the Treasury, and its minutes were private. Ehrman comments on the antiquated approach taken.
It also made attempts to encourage agricultural shows, offered premiums, and held two livestock shows in London in 1821 and 1822. The government grant was withdrawn in 1820; after two years the shortage of funds from private subscriptions led to its dissolution.
^E.g., Thomas Wedge, A General View of the Agriculture of the County Palatine of Chester. London, 1794; George B. Worgan's General View of the Agriculture of the County of Cornwall; drawn up for the consideration of the Board of Agriculture (1793) and Internal Improvement by G. B. Worgan. London: Sherwood, Neely & Jones (1st ed. 1811); Richard Parkinson's General View of the Agriculture of Buckinghamshire. London: Sherwood, Neely and Jones, 1813; Davies, Walter (1815). General View of the Agriculture and Domestic Economy of South Wales(2 vols.). London: Board of Agriculture (Great Britain), Sherwood, Neely & Jones. Retrieved 2012.
^Hey, David (1996) The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History. Oxford University Press; p. 41