Robert Trow-Smith now in his 90th year was born in 1910. He learnt to read at an early age and has been educating himself ever since. He is a rural historian and farmer who has lived most of his life in the Stevenage area, firstly at Datchworth Green, then Weston, from where he moved with his wife and two children to restore, with their own hands, the then derelict fifteenth century monastic grange of Friars in nearby Rushden. He has a lifelong interest in antique furniture, and old fashioned plants, and vintage cameras.
In 1961 he won the Fison Scholarship awarded for the most valuable contribution of the year to agricultural literature and journalism. He was editor of the Farmer and Stockbreeder, a founder member of the British Agricultural History Society, serving on its editorial board, and a member of the Farm Management Association concerned with the application of the latest business techniques to farming practice. He has travelled widely investigating and reporting on aspects of farming from Moscow to Southern Italy, the Caspian Sea to Western Ireland. As a farmer husbanding his own land he has been able to relate past methods to twentieth century practices and to study the place of British agriculture in the world economy.
His books tracing the evolution of the breeds of farm livestock and techniques of animal husbandry remain authoritative works in their field. In other writings he has been concerned with reading history from the landscape, settlements and forms of land tenure, the life and prosperity of the countryman down the ages.
A Bibliography of Robert Trow-Smith
Compiled by Alan Cudmore
English Husbandry from the Earliest Times to the Present Day.
1951. Faber & Faber. 239pp. plates.
Society and the Land.
1953. Cresset Press. 252pp. illus. to chapter headings.
Clay Village, a rustic fantasy.
1954. Cresset Press. 222pp.
A History of British Livestock Husbandry to 1700.
1957. Routledge and Kegan Paul. pp.x, 286pp. plates.
The History of Stevenage.
1958. The Stevenage Society, Stevenage Museum. 82pp.
A History of British Livestock Husbandry 1700 -1900.
1959. Routledge and Kegan Paul. pp.x., 351pp. plates.
Life from the Land; the growth of farming in Western Europe.
1967. Longmans. 238pp. plates.
Man, the Farmer. (Social History of Science Library series)
1973. Prior Press.
Power on the Land;
A Centenary History of the Agricultural Engineers' Association.
1975. Agricultural Press for the Agricultural Engineers' Association.
Farming through the Ages in Pictures.
1978. (pbk. 1993). Ipswich, Farming Press. 112pp. plates.
History of the Royal Smithfield Club.
1980. Bath, Royal Smithfield Club.