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N  O  T  E

   This webessay is a companion piece for our digital edition of Thomas Tryon’s The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., originally published at London in 1684.
   For an introductory discussion linking Aubrey with Tryon’s early contribution to the gun-control debate in America, see our What’s Blooming news page (entry dated 5/9/2014).

John Aubrey’s Pennsylvania Connection

printer's decorative block

^ 17th-century head-piece, showing six boys with farm tools, engraved by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607–1677).

S O R R Y,  but this page is still under construction.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope that you will return to check on its progress another time.

By way of introduction: this webessay — with its cluster of second-window asides (6, at present) — delves into the relationship between John Aubrey, William Penn, and the Royal Society. Like many an impoverished gentleman-scholar, John Aubrey (1626–1697) was constantly on the lookout for any opportunities to make money, and for this reason, thought seriously at one time of emigrating to England’s North American colonies. It was when Aubrey received a land grant in the New World from his friend, the Quaker leader and founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn (1644–1718), that he began planning in more detail, directing his entrepreneurial drive into the beverage industry. This sector of the economy represented a business opportunity of great interest to members of the Hartlib Circle, and to Aubrey’s friends and colleagues at the Royal Society of London for the Improving of Natural Knowledge (to which Aubrey was elected in January 1663), who studied a wide variety of planting and gardening topics in a Baconian-style utilitarian quest to further the improvement of husbandry and trade. My webessay is — mostly! (per usual, I take several detours ;-) — the story of “improvements,” driven by advances in science & technology, to the 17th-century transatlantic beverage industry.

To include about 20 period illustrations.

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