Of course once one starts on one thing, something else is sure to happen. This suggestion that gardeners and designers, even significant ones like William Emes, might on occasion have been taken on to finish what the effortlessly euphuistic, Capability Brown, had begun, scarcely ventured upon in notes 217, 218 and 238 now brings a shower of other examples down on my head: Why not Michael Milican, working to Brown’s instruction at Chatsworth, but paid by the Duke and not by Brown? Why not Winkles – Brown’s man at Tottenham, who never figures in Brown’s accounts?
Why not Joseph Doody indeed? I hear you cry. He was reliable I’m sure and conscientious, could he not have been entrusted with the job of completing Brown’s design at Weston Park? Could it really be that having once employed Brown and paid him considerable sums to come up with a design anyone should drop it in favour of the offering of some other man, little known and local?
Doody, Milican, Winkles, Joseph Nutt, who replaced Clarke at Burton Constable – could it be that at a certain stage in his career Brown had expressed an inclination for comic names, a humour to which some of the many applicants for the jobs he offered were prepared to lend themselves?
Indeed, these questions are powerfully put and I am happy to be persuaded. Judgement however I leave to my readers.