Mrs P has also asked for any insight that the Brown Advisor may have into the feeling that Capability Brown might have had for one of his most faithful and talented clients, that most hated of men, Lord Bute.
There is much to be learned of their changing relationship from Brown’s work at Cardiff, Highcliffe and Luton Hoo, but by way of reply I shall here confine myself to a letter of Amabel Polwarth’s, sent in 1778: ‘Mr Brown … walk’d unexpectedly into the Garden on Tuesday Morning & din’d with us … If you do not think me a much better Negotiator than Sr. J. Wright, or Dr. Addington, I hope you will not pillory me up in the Newspapers, as they have done very completely by one another. Mr Brown talk’d of that affair, when I was out of the Room, & told Ld. P. that Ld. Bute was very well satisfied as he hop’d it had given him a Means of convincing the Public of his firm Resolution to lead a retir’d life, & take no Concern in Business. Half of his Conversation consisted in Panegyrics on Ld. Bute’s amiable Qualities & Skill in Arts & Sciences, excepting Farming, in which he thinks his Lordship is pretty well impos’d upon.’
Agriculture was for Brown the yardstick of success and an essential discipline. It underlay all his work.