Hand-coloured lithographs taken from Hill's illustrated botanical compendium The Vegetable System.
John Hill (c. 1716 – 21 November 1775), called because of his Swedish honours, "Sir" John Hill, was an English author and botanist. He contributed to contemporary periodicals and was awarded the title of Sir in recognition of his illustrated botanical compendiumThe Vegetable System.
He was the son of the Rev. Theophilus Hill and is said to have been born in Peterborough. He was apprenticed to an apothecary and on the completion of his apprenticeship he set up in a small shop in St Martin's Lane, Westminster. He also travelled over the country in search of rare herbs, with a view to publishing a hortus siccus, but the plan failed. His first publication was a translation of Theophrastus's History of Stones (1746).
From this time forward he was an indefatigable writer. He edited theBritish Magazine(1746–1750), and for two years (1751–1753) he wrote a daily letter, "The Inspector," for the London Advertiser and Literary Gazette. He also produced novels, plays, and scientific works; and was a large contributor to the supplement of Ephraim Chambers Cyclopaedia.