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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 ...

Article

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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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

Article

John Westby-Gibson

revised by Alexander Goldbloom

Briggs, John Joseph (1819–1876), naturalist and writer on country life, was born on 6 March 1819 at King's Newton, near Melbourne, Derbyshire, the son of John Briggs, farmer, and his wife, Mary Briggs. His parents were cousins, and they lived on the farm at ...

Article

William Hunt

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Brown, Robert (1757–1831), writer on agriculture, was born on 27 August 1757 in East Linton, Haddingtonshire, Scotland. He entered into business in East Linton but soon turned to farming, which he carried on first at West Fortune and afterwards at Markle, where he conducted several important experiments. He was a close friend of ...

Article

Cherry, (Winifred) Mary (1926–2015), agricultural journalist and charity chair, was born on 17 July 1926 at Barford St Michael, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, the only daughter and second child of (William) Raymond Cherry (1891–1960), farmer, and his wife, ...

Article

Clarke, Cuthbert (1728/9–1790), writer and lecturer on natural philosophy and agriculture, was probably born in Belford in Northumberland, though his origins are obscure. He spent the early and middle parts of his life in the north-east of England; having left Belford he lived in ...

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Corbet, Henry (1820–1878), agricultural editor, was born on 31 December 1820 and educated at Bedford School. He hoped to go to university but was unable to do so because of family difficulties. During the early 1840s he lived in London and first came to public attention in November 1846 when he was appointed secretary of the ...

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Davis, Hewitt (1804–1884), farmer and agricultural writer, was born on 16 August 1804 to Isaac Davis and his wife, Mary, née Kennard. He was baptized on 10 November 1804 at St Mildred Poultry, in the City of London.

In his twenties Davis managed the ...

Article

M. G. Watkins

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Dickson, Adam (bap. 1721, d. 1776), agricultural writer, was baptized on 5 October 1721 at Aberlady, Haddingtonshire, the son of the Revd Andrew Dickson, minister of Aberlady, and his wife, Agnes Burnside. He studied at Edinburgh University, and took the degree of MA in 1744. In 1742 he married ...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Donaldson, James (fl. 1794–1796), writer on agriculture, practised as a land surveyor in Dundee. He was also agent for the earl of Panmure. His chief work was Modern Agriculture, or, The Present State of Husbandry in Great Britain (4 vols., 1795–6). Donaldson was one of those employed by the ...

Article

Thomas Seccombe

revised by Giles Hudson

Donaldson, John (1799–1876), writer on agriculture, was born in Northumberland and was probably related to another agricultural writer, James Donaldson (1794–1796). In all, John Donaldson wrote, contributed to, and edited more than a dozen works on agricultural topics, covering such subjects as clay lands and loamy soils, farm buildings, manures, and the management of crops, describing himself on their title pages as a professor of botany. In addition to these, he also published ...

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Eliot, Jared (1685–1763), Congregationalist minister in America, physician, and writer on agriculture, was born on 7 November 1685 in Guilford, Connecticut, the first of four children of Joseph Eliot (1638–1694), Congregational minister, and Mary Wyllys. Eliot entered Harvard College in 1699 but studied there only a year. When ...

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Elmhirst, Leonard Knight (1893–1974), agricultural economist and philanthropist, was born on 6 June 1893 at Laxton, Yorkshire, the second of eight sons and nine children of the Revd William Heaton Elmhirst, clergyman, of Laxton, subsequently owner of the Elmhirst estate, Worsbrough Dale, Yorkshire...

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Findlater, Charles (1754–1838), Church of Scotland minister and writer on agriculture, was born on 10 January 1754 in the manse of West Linton, Peeblesshire, the second son of Thomas Findlater (1697–1778) and his second wife, Jean Brown (d. 1802), daughter of William Brown...

Article

Henley [Hanley], Walter of (fl. c. 1260), writer on agriculture, was the author of a treatise known from more than thirty manuscripts; written in French, in most versions it is entitled Husbandry (Hosbondrye, and so on) but only about ten of them give the author's name, which was apparently not included in the original work but added by copyists. The text at one point refers to 'au tens qe ieo fu baillif' (...

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Johnson, Cuthbert William (1799–1878), writer on agriculture, was born at Widmore House, Bromley, Kent, on 28 September 1799, the eldest surviving son of William Johnson of Liverpool and Widmore House. His father was proprietor of several chemistry-based businesses. Johnson was admitted a member of ...

Article

Ronald Bayne

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Kent, Nathaniel (1737–1810), land agent and writer on agriculture, was the younger son of Ambrose Kent of Penton Mewsey, Hampshire. In 1755 he began work as a clerk at Portsmouth Dockyard, and later he held a secretarial post on the staff of Admiral Geary...

Article

W. A. S. Hewins

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Macphail, James (1754–1805), gardener and writer on agriculture, was born in Aberdeenshire, the son of a highland peasant. In his seventeenth year he became a farm labourer, and his wages were 23s. 4d. for the half-year. After suffering many hardships working in ...