Samuel Hartlib

(1025 words)

Samuel Hartlib was not a literary figure in his own right, but he played a key role in the dissemination of educational, scientific, religious, agricultural and political writing throughout Europe and North America in the seventeenth century.

He was born in Elbing (now Elblag in Poland, then part of Prussia) in about 1600, to a wealthy German dye-works owner and his English wife. After attending school at Brieg in Silesia, Hartlib studied at Cambridge (without taking a degree) in 1625-6. He settled in England for good in 1628 and married Mary Burningham, an English woman, the following year.

By this date, he had become involved with the idealistic secret society “Antilia” which was devoted to the reformation of …

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Young, John. "Samuel Hartlib". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 March 2004
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]