The English Improver Improved

Or the Survey of Husbandry Surveyed. This book was written by Walter Blith in 1649 and was one of the very first attempts to put into print how land could be improved by good husbandry. Blith had fought in the war on the parliamentary side and had been involved in the sequestration of Royalist land after the war, some of which he bought for himself. The frontispiece for the revised 1652 edition was designed to show as the reader looks down the page how by degrees the country turns from war to more peaceful pursuits.

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Here at the top are , on the left a troop of cavalry and on the right some foot soldiers, pike and musket. Mostly clad in soldier’s coats and breeches and a selection of soft hats and helmets.

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Bottom right is a ploughman in a natty felt hat and ribbon decorated breeches.

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Bottom right a labourer with some kind of spade digging a trench. He’s got a rather battered felt hat, or possibly a montero cap, buttoned up coat and unconfined breeches.

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And right at the bottom a surveyor. This guy is a bit more well dressed, with a short doublet, breeches, wide hat and some smart riding boots.

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