A Compleat System of Experienced Improvements Made on Sheep, Grass-Lambs and House-Lambs ...

London, printed for T. Astley, 1749.

8vo, 3 parts in 1 vol with continuous pagination; occasional spotting, but a very good copy in contemporary full calf; hinges cracked but joints holding firmly, some abrasions to the cover; contemporary ownership inscription (‘Joseph Catton 1748’) on front free end-paper.


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First edition, scarce in commerce, of an innovative manual of sheep farming and husbandry.

William Ellis, a brewer from London, moved to Church Farm in the Chiltern area after marrying a rich widow. Deeply unimpressed by the conservative and unproductive methods he found practised by local farmers, he set about to experiment in crop production, soil improvement, and husbandry. His books on the subject made him one of the most sought-after farm management consultants in Britain. Thomas Jefferson’s library at Monticello included his brewing manual.

Fussell pp.6-13; Perkins 558.

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