| Jethro Tull (1674 - 1741)
|A member of the English land owning class (the gentry) , Tull attended Oxford University, then studied law at Gray's Inn. Ill health "put paid" to an anticipated political career and "landed" him on the family estates. Tull had become a farmer, and he hated it. So he changed it. His inventions include the mechanized seed drill in 1701, replacing the throwing of seeds onto weed infested plots, and the "modern" plow. Despite his laborers' intransigence against altering their inefficient traditional farming methods, and vicious criticism from malicious compatriots, he literally "sowed the seeds" of modern farming.|
|I would like to say that his famous book, The New Horse-Hoeing Husbandry (1731), sub-titled "A Treatise on the Principles of Tillage and Vegetation" revolutionized agriculture, but alas at the end of his life he could take pride neither in his family affairs nor in the acceptance of his principles of cultivation. It would be another half a century before a couple of American farmers, Washington and Jefferson, would champion his work, and a century before his "revolution" was complete. In my opinion, few works so improved the well-being of so many. For example, without his Horse-Hoeing Husbandry, labor intensive agriculture yielding poor crops and general mal-nourishments could have prevented Britain from successfully launching the Industrial Revolution.|
I am indebted to Maureen McCullough's Morgan's Run for drawing my attention to this book.|
I was first amazed, then angry, that it was not still in publication.
So here it is ... enjoy.
Dr. R. Holmberg, LA 2003