John Worlidge (fl. 1669-1698)

This is one of the first books to discuss the importance of agriculture to the economy of Great Britain and the possibility that it might be industrialized. In this case, the farms and orchards shown in this frontispiece served as a small laboratory, or pilot plant, in a feasibility study. Worlidge, as author, provides the careful observations and creative experiments of those visionaries who considered their surroundings. In his words, “Agricultura est Scientia: Agriculture hath been esteemed a Science that principally teacheth us the Nature.”

John Worlidge. Systema Agriculturae, the Mystery of Husbandry Discovered; wherein is Treated of the Several New and Most Advantagious Ways of Tilling, Planting, Sowing ... all sorts of gardens, orchards, meadows,... & coppices. And of all sorts of fruits, corn, grain, ... cattel, fowl, beasts, bees, silk-worms, &c. London: Printed by T. Johnson for S. Speed, 1669.