Hartlib, Samuel 1600-1662 (approx)

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Hartlib came from Poland and started business as a merchant. In reality he had various hobbies and conducted a large news agency. He had some knowledge of farming and was a respected friend of talented men of his time including John Milton. He assisted in establishing the Royal Society. In 1650 he is presumed to have published Discourse of Husbandrie, which book was only revised by him. He wrote an Essay on the Advancement of Husbandry and Learning and Propositions for Erecting a College of Husbandry (1651). He also wrote a Designe for Plentie by a Universall Planting of Fruit Trees (1652). He had considerable influence on agriculture in his day.

Hartlib stated that at about the beginning of the 17th Century the art of vegetable gardening began to assume some importance in England. This was in large part due to the Huguenot refugees from France and the Low Countries especially weavers and gardeners who came to England. The Huguenots also started the first flower societies in England. The potato was one of the most important introductions.