An Account of the Most Approved Mode of Draining Land; according to the System practised by Mr Joseph Elkington. With an appendix containing hints for the further improvements of Bogs and other Marshy Ground after draining;
Edinburgh: Mundell and Son, 1797. Title continues: "Together with observations on hollow and surface draining in general. The whole illustrated by explanatory engravings." Quarter leather with marbled boards. gilt title on label to spine. Owner's bookplate to the inside board. Scarce First Edition. 16 engraved plates (2 folding) - Complete. The binding (later re-back) has been done a little tight, so there is some breaking to the first gather. One of the plates has scuffing to the surface (not particularly noticeable). One leaf of "Conclusion." xv, 182 pp. Large 4to. 270 by 220mm (10¾ by 8¾ inches).
Johnstone (d. 1838), an Edinburgh surveyor, was promised a grant of £1000 by the recently formed Board of Agriculture to provide a detailed and accurate account of the system of land drainage developed by Joseph Elkington (d. 1806), a farmer in Warwickshire and designer of land drainage systems. Elkington was known to be in poor health, and it was feared that knowledge of his innovations might perish with him. "About 1763 Elkington inherited a farm at Princethorpe, where some years later he discovered, at Long Harold Pits along a geological fault, the method of land drainage for which he is remembered. He discovered by accident, after losing more than 800 sheep to liver rot, how some strata were porous and pervious to water while others were not, and that he could locate the former with the auger used in exploring for marl and coal."-ODNB