Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Standish, Arthur

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STANDISH, ARTHUR (fl. 1611–1615), writer on agriculture, lived in Cambridgeshire or south Lincolnshire. He was connected with the family of Standish of Standish Hall in Lancashire, which had several offshoots in different parts of England. Standish had been much impressed by the rapid deforestation of the country, and when comparatively advanced in life he devoted four years to visiting various parts of Britain with a view to ascertaining the general condition of agriculture. In 1611 he published in quarto ‘The Commons' Complaint,’ London, printed by William Stansby, prefaced by a license from James I, (dated 1 Aug. 1611), which was also inserted before his later works. Standish refers to ‘two speciall grievances’—the ‘general destruction and waste of wood’ and ‘the extreme dearth of victuals’—which he proposed to remedy by planting timber and fruit-trees, ‘by an extraordinary breeding of fowle and pullen,’ and by ‘destroying all kinde of vermine.’ This work went through a second edition in the same year, and was republished in 1612, ‘newly corrected and augmented.’ In 1613 he published ‘New Directions of Experience to the Commons Complaint, for the planting of Timber and Firewood, invented by Arthur Standish’ (London, 4to), in which he advocated the planting of waste land with trees. In 1615 he published a sequel entitled ‘New Directions of Experience for the increasing of Timber and Firewood’ (London, 4to), in which he proposed to plant two hundred and forty thousand acres of waste land, and endeavoured to prove that by that means ‘there may be as much timber raised as will maintaine the kingdome for all uses for ever.’

[Standish's Works; Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual, ed. Bohn.]

E. I. C.