Jethro Tull (agriculturist)
Basildon, Berkshire, England
|Died||21 February 1741
Hungerford, Berkshire, England
|Resting place||St Bartholomew's Church, Lower Basildon, Berkshire, England|
|Known for||Agricultural reforms and inventions, such as the seed drill & horse-drawn hoe|
Jethro Tull (1674 – 21 February 1741) was an English agricultural pioneer from Berkshire who helped bring about the British Agricultural Revolution. He perfected a horse-drawn seed drill in 1701 that economically sowed the seeds in neat rows, and later a horse-drawn hoe. Tull's methods were adopted by many large landowners, and they helped form the basis of modern agriculture. The rock band Jethro Tull was named after him.
Tull was born in Basildon, Berkshire, to Jethro Tull, Sr. and his wife Dorothy, née Buckeridge or Buckridge. He was baptised there on 30 March 1674. He grew up in Bradfield, Berkshire and matriculated at St John's College, Oxford at the age of 17, but appears not to have taken a degree. He was later educated at Gray's Inn. He married Susanna Smith of Burton Dassett, Warwickshire. They settled on his father's farm at Howberry, near Crowmarsh Gifford, where they had a son and two daughters.
Tull became ill with a pulmonary disorder and travelled to Europe in search of a cure. In his travels, he found himself seeking more knowledge of agriculture. Influenced by the early Age of Enlightenment, he is considered to be one of the early proponents of a scientific (and especially empirical) approach to agriculture. He helped transform agricultural practices by inventing or improving numerous implements.
Tull died in 1740 at Prosperous's Farm at Hungerford. He is buried in the churchyard of St Bartholomew's Church, Lower Basildon, Berkshire, near to his birthplace. His gravestone bears the burial date 9 March 1740. (This date, reckoned in the Old Style, is equivalent to 20 March 1740 by the modern calendar.)
Further reading 
- Hidden, N. (1989) , Agric. Hist. Rev., 37 (1), p. 26–35
- Tull, Jethro (1731, 2010) Jethro Tull's Horse Hoeing Husbandry (free googlebooks download)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jethro Tull (agriculturist)|
- Works by or about Jethro Tull (agriculturist) in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Horse-hoeing husbandry 4th ed., (1762) from John Adams' library, Internet Archive
- Works by Jethro Tull in the Internet Archive