The late Mrs B of Sussex was devoted to the poet William Mason (1724-1797). He started his poem The English Garden in 1767, and it has a vigorous endorsement of the vavoom, as one might say, of Capability Brown:

‘Him too, the living Leader of thy powers,

Great Nature! him the Muse shall hail in notes

Which antedate the praise true genius claims

From just posterity: Bards yet unborn

Shall pay to Brown that tribute, fitliest paid

In strains, the beauty of his scenes inspire.’

In fact his great poem provides our most complete account of Brownian design up to the 1770s. His fellow poet, Henry James Pye, the poet laureate, made the connection pretty plain:

‘Secure her fame unhurt by time shall stand

Since Mason’s verse records what Brown has plan’d.’

It is hardly surprising to find that the authors that Brown’s successor, Humphry Repton, turned to when he started were the four that best appreciated Brown (René-Louis de Girardin, William Mason, Thomas Whately and William Gilpin), and that they all knew each other.