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James Anderson (1739–1808) by Samuel Freeman, pubd 1809 (after J. Anderson) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anderson, James (1739–1808), agriculturist and political economist, born at Hermiston, near Edinburgh, inherited the tenancy of a large farm there at the age of fifteen when his parents (whose names are unknown) died. He had already prepared himself for the position by attending ...

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Robert Andrews (1725–1806) by Thomas Gainsborough, c.1750 © National Gallery, London / The Bridgeman Art Library

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Andrews, Robert (1725–1806), landowner and subject of a painting by Thomas Gainsborough, was born at Bulmer, Essex, on 10 November 1725, the son of Robert Andrews (1661–1735) and his fourth wife, Martha (d. 1749), the daughter of James Brewster (d. 1725)...

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John Westby-Gibson

revised by Nicholas Goddard

Angas, Caleb (1782–1860), agriculturist, was a well-known practitioner of farming in the East Riding of Yorkshire and recognized locally as a leading authority on agriculture. He originally lived at Brancepeth but at the age of thirty-two he established himself at Newick Farm, Great Driffield...

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Ashby, Arthur Wilfred (1886–1953), agricultural economist, was born in the Warwickshire village of Tysoe on 19 August 1886, the eldest of eight children of Joseph Ashby (1859–1919), farmer and surveyor, and his wife and cousin, Hannah Ashby (b. 1861/2). His father was a remarkable man whose life, as told by his daughter, is the classic story of the articulate village leader of the second half of the nineteenth century for whom religion, farming, and politics were the stuff of life. Having left the village school a little before his twelfth birthday, young ...

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Baker, John Wynn (c. 1730–1775), agricultural improver and writer, emigrated from England, possibly from Worcester, to Ireland in 1761 after the collapse of a business scheme to convey brine from salt pits to the River Severn by a system of pipes. He published his first experimental treatise in ...

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Lady Evelyn Barbara Balfour (1898–1990) by Elliott & Fry, 1943 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Balfour, Lady Evelyn Barbara [Eve] (1898–1990), promoter of organic farming and a founder of the Soil Association, was born on 16 July 1898 in Dublin, the fourth child of Gerald William Balfour, second earl of Balfour (1853–1945), and Lady Elizabeth Edith Balfour (1867–1942)...

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Bathurst, Charles, first Viscount Bledisloe (1867–1958), agriculturist and politician, was born in London on 21 September 1867, the second but first surviving son of the barrister Charles Bathurst (1836–1907), of Lydney Park, Gloucestershire, where he owned 4000 acres of land, and his wife, ...

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Beale, John (bap. 1608, d. 1683), Church of England clergyman and writer on agriculture and natural philosophy, was baptized at Yarkhill, Herefordshire, on 17 April 1608, the sixth and youngest son of Thomas Beale (1575–1620), a lawyer and prominent gentleman farmer, and his wife, ...

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Patrick Bell (1799–1869) by unknown engraver, pubd 1868 (after E. Strachan) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bell, Patrick (1799–1869), Church of Scotland minister and inventor of agricultural machinery, was born in April 1799 at mid-Leoch, in the parish of Auchterhouse, a few miles north-west of Dundee. He was one of at least two sons of George Bell, a tenant farmer at ...

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Biffen, Sir Rowland Harry (1874–1949), geneticist and agricultural botanist, was born on 28 May 1874 at Cheltenham, the eldest of the family of two boys and three girls of Henry John Biffen, headmaster of the Christ Church higher grade school at Cheltenham, and his wife, ...

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J. L. Harley

revised by Paolo Palladino

Blackman, Geoffrey Emett (1903–1980), agricultural scientist, was born on 17 April 1903 at 58 Scarsdale Villas, Kensington, London. He was the eldest of the three children of the cytologist and plant physiologist Vernon Herbert Blackman (1872–1967), then an assistant in the British Museum (Natural History)...

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Blackwell, Alexander (bap. 1709, d. 1747), agricultural improver and government agent in Sweden, was baptized in Aberdeen on 10 October 1709. He was the son of Thomas Blackwell (1660?–1728), professor of theology and principal at Marischal College in Aberdeen, and his wife, Christian (...

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Blaikie, Francis (1771–1857), agriculturist and land agent, was born on 24 December 1771 at Holydean in the parish of Bowden, Roxburghshire, the son of Andrew Blaikie, a tenant farmer of Holydean, and his wife, Jane Currie. Francis followed a career in agriculture and moved to ...

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Blaxter, Sir Kenneth Lyon (1919–1991), animal nutritionist, was born at Egbert House, Wroxham Road, Sprowston, Norfolk, on 19 June 1919, the son of Gaspard Culling Blaxter, a handicraft teacher who ran a smallholding, and his wife, Charlotte Ellen, née Lyon. He was educated at the ...

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Blith, Walter (bap. 1605, d. 1654), writer on husbandry, was baptized on 7 August 1605 in Allesley, Warwickshire, the fourth and youngest son of John Blith (d. 1626), yeoman farmer, and Ann, daughter of Barnaby Holbeche of Birchley Hall, Fillongley. His father, a relatively prosperous cereal and dairy farmer, had moved to ...

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Walter Blith (bap. 1605, d. 1654) by unknown engraver, pubd 1653 © Copyright The British Museum