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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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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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Arkwright, Richard (1755–1843), cotton manufacturer and landowner, was born on 19 December 1755 at Bolton, Lancashire, the only son of Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792), cotton manufacturer, and his wife, Patience (d. 1756), daughter of Robert Holt. In 1780 he married Mary (...

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Ashby, Joseph (1859–1919), farmer and social reformer, was born in Tysoe in Warwickshire on 13 June 1859, the son of an unmarried servant, Elizabeth Ashby. His father was the husband of Elizabeth's mistress, yet, common as such births were, Ashby's was in some ways different. His father provided for him but his mother, a fiercely independent woman, refused to use the money. More importantly his mother's branch of the ...

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Atkinson, Sir Harry Albert (1831–1892), farmer and premier of New Zealand, was born on 1 November 1831 at Broxton, Cheshire, the fourth son and the seventh of the thirteen children of John Atkinson (1798–1856), an architect and stonemason, and his wife, Elizabeth Smith (...

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Backhouse family (per. c. 1770–1945), naturalists and horticulturists, came to prominence with James [i] Backhouse (1721–1798), who founded the Backhouse Bank in Darlington, co. Durham, in 1774 with his sons Jonathan (1747–1826) and James [ii] (1757–1804). It was Jonathan Backhouse who initiated the family's connection with horticulture, by following the mid-eighteenth-century fashion for large-scale tree planting on his estates at ...

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Baillie, George, of Jerviswood (1664–1738), landowner and politician, born on 16 March 1664 at Jerviswood Tower, Lanarkshire, was the eldest child of Robert Baillie (d. 1684) and of his wife and cousin Rachel Johnston (d. 1697), daughter of the Presbyterian martyr Sir Archibald Johnston, ...

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Jennett Humphreys

revised by G. E. Mingay

Bakewell, Robert (1725–1795), stock breeder and farmer, was born at Dishley Grange, Dishley (otherwise Dixley), near Loughborough, Leicestershire, on 23 May 1725. His father, also a farmer, had been born at the same place and rented a farm there of 440 acres. About 1755 ...

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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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Basset, Francis, Baron de Dunstanville and first Baron Basset (1757–1835), politician and landowner, was born at Walcot, Oxfordshire, on 9 August 1757, first-born of two sons and five daughters of Francis Basset (1715–1769), MP and landowner, of Tehidy, Cornwall, and his wife, Margaret...

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Beckford, William (bap. 1709, d. 1770), planter and politician, was baptized on 19 December 1709, in Jamaica, the son of Peter Beckford (1672/3–1735), sugar planter, speaker of the Jamaica house of assembly, and comptroller of customs, and Bathshua, daughter and coheir of Julines Hering...

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Beckford, William (1744–1799), sugar planter and historian, was born in Jamaica in 1744, the son and heir of Richard Beckford (d. 1756) and his common-law wife, Elizabeth Hay. His uncle was William Beckford, lord mayor of London, and his first cousin was ...

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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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Birkbeck, Morris (1764–1825), farmer and writer, was born on 23 January 1764 in Settle, Yorkshire, the only child of Morris Birkbeck (1734–1816), Quaker minister, and his wife, Hannah, née Bradford, of Lancaster, who died a few days after his birth. On 23 April in 1794 he married ...

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Blackmore, Richard Doddridge (1825–1900), novelist and fruit farmer, was born on 7 June 1825, at the vicarage, Longworth, Berkshire, the third but second surviving son of the Revd John Blackmore (1794–1858) and his first wife, Anne Basset Knight (1794–1825). Anne was the eldest daughter of 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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Bloom, Alan Herbert Vauser (1906–2005), horticulturist, was born on 19 November 1906 in Over, near Swavesey, Cambridgeshire, the son of Charles Herbert Bloom, grocer and draper, and later market gardener, and his wife, Katherine Annie Jane, née Whitworth. His father's family is thought to have been descended from Huguenots who had come to ...

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Blundell, Sir Michael (1907–1993), farmer and politician in Kenya, was born on 7 April 1907 at 33 Campden House Court, Kensington, London, the third of four sons of Alfred Herbert Blundell, a London solicitor, and his wife, Amelia Woodward Richardson. His father's family came from ...

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Blunt [née King], Anne Isabella Noel, suo jure Baroness Wentworth (1837–1917), traveller and breeder of Arab horses, was born on 22 September 1837 in London, the second of the three children, and the only daughter, of William King, first earl of Lovelace...

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Blunt, Wilfrid Scawen (1840–1922), hedonist, poet, and breeder of Arab horses, was born at Petworth House, Sussex, on 17 August 1840, the second son of the three children of Francis Scawen Blunt (1790–1842) of Crabbet Park, Poundhill, and Newbuildings Place, Southwater, Sussex, and his wife, ...