Agricultural pioneer who devised and constructed the horse-drawn seed drill. Lived in Crowmarsh Gifford, Oxfordshire.
Link with the Chilterns
Lived in Crowmarsh Gifford, Oxfordshire
30th March 1674
21st February 1741
Jethro Tull was born in Basildon in Berkshire and after studying at Oxford he trained as a barrister.
Tull farmed at Howbery Farm, Crowmarsh Gifford near Wallingford (now marked with a blue plaque on 16-19 The Street, Crowmarsh Gifford), and there in 1701 he devised and constructed the horse-drawn seed drill, enabling crops to be sown efficiently in rows, which was much more productive than the previous method where the seeds were broadcast (scattered) by hand. His design was partly inspired by instruments such as the organ.
He and his family later moved to Prosperous Farm near Hungerford. He published a book on his innovations called Horse-hoeing Husbandry in 1731.
He is buried at his birthplace, just across the Thames in Basildon, where the North Wessex Downs AONB adjoins the Chilterns.
Biography of Jethro Tull on Berkshire History website
Page in Historic Figures section of BBC website
Jethro Tull: his influence on mechanised agriculture by G E Fussell. Published in 1973 by Osprey Publishing.
What you can visit
The farmhouse where Jethro Tull lived is now marked with a blue plaque on 16-19 The Street, Crowmarsh Gifford.