The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

300 Frequently Asked Questions about Capability Brown, and a further 200 about Humphry Repton

Category: Foremen (Page 2 of 3)

217: Can we trust Brown’s accounts?

I have received numerous inquiries relating to the account book of l’incroyable, Capability Brown. The volume is now the property of the Royal Horticultural Society and kept in their Linley Library.

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247: Who was James Clarke?

Just as the sun when it sinks to its rest in the western sky may appear vanquished by the forces of the dark, so on occasion the hopes of mankind will sink like balloons, their speculations punctured by cold facts.

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215: Who were the surveyors?

It sometimes happens that I overlook the introduction of a person to my wider acquaintance – not from any desire to keep that person to myself, but simply because he, or she, plays such a central role in my life that I have assumed that my acquaintances were all familiar with her, or him.

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238: How are we to know where Brown worked?

Mr Honey beat my door like an old carpet this morning, with the complaint that all the talk of valleys whether ‘transverse, direct or the other thing’ in my recent note (note 236) made a wholly misleading summary of our discussions.

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221: How great an influence has Brown had?

Mr Honey has joined me in my country place and just now, stretched out under an apple tree and sucking on a straw, he gives a passable impression of rural content.

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206: What then of Mickle?

A hunting metaphor is suited to Mr F, who springs to horse in Melton Mowbray, ever-ready to pursue his quarry over no matter how many years and over no matter how unfortunate a country. Thus I have never expected to find a quick result to his researches into the gardener, Adam Mickle who appears to have been working with James Wyatt in 1799.

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197: Was William Ireland a Bedfordshire man?

The thirst that drove Mrs P to seek out information about William Ireland, associate of that omega of the English landscape style, Capability Brown, remains unslaked by my last note.

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196: Which Ireland worked at Southill?

Mrs P, one of a dazzling array of scholars at work on Luton Hoo, has asked particularly for further details about the career of William Ireland and the work he is likely to have carried out there.

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170: Was Lapidge any good?

Captain Ken reminds me that he can find nothing to interest him in the careers of Capability Brown’s associates, such as Samuel Lapidge and William Ireland.

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169: Who was Lapidge?

A few additional leaves will gild the record, and may serve to further Dr J’s inquiries (note 41) into Capability Brown’s working relationship with his main man and executor,  Samuel Lapidge.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs