John Mills was an English writer on agriculture, translator and editor. As writer on agriculture, Mills is credited for publishing the earliest complete treatise on all branches of agriculture and his chief work, A New System of Practical Husbandry, in 5 volumes, appeared in 1767. It combines the results of the experience and observations of such writers as Evelyn, Duhamel, John Worlidge, and Jethro Tull, Mills was a warm advocate of small farms. John Mills was a person of eminence in the 18th century. From his manner of expression, it is possible he may have lived his life in foreign countries along time, possibly in France. In 1741 he was staying in London, where he had made preparations to go to Jamaica and this was the origin of the famous Encyclopédie. Mills, unable to redress, returned to England. In the 1760s he found his vocation as a writer on agriculture. In 1766 he published an Essay on the Management of Bees, the A New System of Practical Husbandry, treated all branches of agriculture, and contains the first mention of the potato as grown in fields. In 1770 appeared a translation from the Latin of G. A, gyllenbergs Natural and Chemical Elements of Agriculture, in 1772 an Essay on the Weather, and Essays, Moral, Philosophical, and Political, and in 1776 a Treatise on Cattle. On 13 February 1766 Mills was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society with Benjamin Franklin as one of his sponsors and he was the first foreign associate of the French Agricultural Society, on whose list his name, with London as his residence, appears from 1767 to 1784. He was also member of the Royal Societies of Agriculture of Rouen, the Mannheim Academy of Sciences, John Mills was credited for his comprehensive knowledge of agriculture, and of the cultivation and use of the ground. He authored and translated works in these fields. He became a known author on the subject of husbandry in the 1760s. He had come to prominence about twenty years earlier, while working on the translation of Chamberss Cyclopaedia and this work became quite renowned, and four editions were published between 1738 and 1742. An Italian translation of work appeared from 1747 to 1754. Early in 1745 Mills and Sellius published a prospectus for the Encyclopédie to attract subscribers to the project. This four-page prospectus was illustrated by Jean-Michel Papillon, and accompanied by a plan, the text was translated by Mills and Sellius, and it was corrected by an unnamed person, who appears to have been Denis Diderot
Encyclopédie, Conditions for Subscriber, 1745/71.
The History of the Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine, 1755