Administrative reports, quoted in a recent paper, routinely outline the heavy charges, verging on non-profitability, that a large farmer in French Hainault in the XVIIIth century incurs in keeping a sheep herd. Through the study of the wool sales figures of a farm tenant in the Avesnes region and the running costs of keeping his herd (feed, shearing, shepherd's wages, etc.), thanks to his accounting books, we are in a position to demonstrate that this is all pretense. A farmer will definitely not boast to a government agent that he makes a hefty profit on the side produces he gets through his sheep-breeding activity. He will always lament, among other complaints, the «financial difficulties of sheep-breeding caused by maintaining the shepherd». Fulgence DELLEAUX, Le censier et la laine. Codicille à une étude sur l'élevage ovin en Hainaut au XVIII siècle.
|Journal||Revue du Nord|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|