Young, Arthur

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Young, Arthur (1741–1820). Farmer, journalist, and agricultural writer. Often regarded as a pioneer of the agricultural revolution, Young began his working life as a small farmer at Bradfield, his family home in Suffolk. In 1767 he took the tenancy of a 300-acre farm in Essex, from which he soon moved on—reputedly paying another man £100 to take the tenancy off him—to Hertfordshire where he held the tenancy of a farm from 1768 until 1777. After two years in Ireland (1776–8) he returned to Bradfield where he farmed and settled to work as a writer and journalist, founding in 1784 the Annals of Agriculture of which he edited (and often largely wrote) 46 volumes until 1809. In 1785 he inherited the small family property at Bradfield, and in 1793 he became secretary to the Board of Agriculture with a salary of £400. Despite his lack of success as a practical farmer, Young's prolific writings, his trenchantly held opinions, and his position at the Board of Agriculture all helped to build up his reputation as one of the foremost popularizers of the new ideas and practices of the agricultural revolution.

John Beckett