Life as a Farmer

Hutton’s early life at Slighhouses was by all accounts hard and lonely. His decision to farm arising perhaps from some disappointing turn-of-events in his personal life; “This squeamish, home-bred stomach of mine an’t truly reconciled to the bitter pill o’ disappointment”. He suffered a loss of faith and in correspondence refers obliquely to a love affair which he felt had ‘poisoned his chance of happiness’; “…..Now I am ee’nn wedded and so must endeavour to restrain the wandering infidelities of the heart”. This curious reference suggests that he was either married (but lived the life of a batchelor), or had a moral obligation. It is known that he had a son born out-of-marriage during his early twenties and before he started farming in c.1747

The initial state of the farm and lack of skilled labour frustrated him; “A cursed country where one has to shape everything out of a block and to block everything out of a rock….I find myself already more that half transformed into a brute” and he was not happy; “everything conspires to break my heart but I shall die hard, I shall die like a cock or though even now I live like a capon”; and typically down-to-earth, “I ain’t like in haste to wax to fat nor fart nor fling neither”.