I have planned to continue my discussion of game with an account of grouse shooting, which traditionally took place in the autumn on those estates lucky enough to have moors.
However this note has been led in a new direction as I ponder the observations of Arthur Young the agriculturalist in 1773, already recorded in my note 118: ‘Among other very extensive estates, are those which have been formed by buying up all the wastes around … not with a view to cultivate them, but for the increase of their domaine – for elbow room – for hunting ground, (imitating therein the Mohawks and Cherokees) – for shooting moor-game…’
I don’t think I have ever before faced a single sentence with no less than four ideas in it each of which seems to me mistaken (that parks were made and developed as hunting grounds; that in so doing so the aristocracy was creating an American savannah; and that English landscape design imitated the emptiness of the Indian territories; and finally there is an implication here – or am I mistaken? – that commons and common fields were to provide the land on which the parkland was to be laid out).
But I find that I can disagree with any sentence if I look at it for long enough, and if my mood is not charitable at the start.
In a word then, I take the view that shooting (as opposed to raising game) did not affect Brownian design.