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William Aislabie (1699/17001700–1781) by Jonathan Richardson The Burghley House Collection

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Aislabie, William (1699/1700–1781), landscape designer and landowner, was probably born at Studley Royal in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the son of John Aislabie (1670–1742), politician, and his first wife, Anne (d. 1700), daughter of Sir William Rawlinson of Hendon, Middlesex. Details of his education are unknown, beyond that he went on a grand tour in 1720. In 1721 he was returned as an MP for ...

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Aldridge, John Arthur Malcolm (1905–1983), painter and gardener, was born near Woolwich, London, on 26 July 1905, the second of the three sons (there were no daughters) of Major John Barttelot Aldridge DSO of the Royal Field Artillery and his wife, Margaret Jessica Goddard...

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Amherst [formerly Tyssen-Amherst], Alicia Margaret [married name Alicia Margaret Cecil, Lady Rockley] (1865–1941), garden historian, was born on 30 July 1865 at Didlington Hall, Didlington, near Mundford, Norfolk, fifth of the seven children (all daughters) of William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst (1835–1909), landowner, and his wife, ...

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Robert Andrews (1725–1806) by Thomas Gainsborough, c.1750 © National Gallery, London / The Bridgeman Art Library

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Andrews, Robert (1725–1806), landowner and subject of a painting by Thomas Gainsborough, was born at Bulmer, Essex, on 10 November 1725, the son of Robert Andrews (1661–1735) and his fourth wife, Martha (d. 1749), the daughter of James Brewster (d. 1725)...

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Blaikie, Thomas (1751–1838), landscape gardener and plant collector, was born at Corstorphine Hill, Edinburgh, on 2 March 1751, the youngest in the family of two sons and two daughters of Thomas Blaikie, who owned a small market garden at Corstorphine, and his wife, ...

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Bowles, Edward Augustus [Gussie] (1865–1954), horticulturist and watercolour painter, was born on 14 May 1865 at Myddelton House, Bull's Cross, Enfield, Middlesex, the fourth of five children of Henry Carrington Bowles Bowles (formerly Treacher; 1830–1918), a landowner and governor of the New River Company...

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Edward Augustus Bowles (1865–1954) by unknown photographer Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Library

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Bulley, Arthur Kilpin (1861–1942), cotton broker and gardener, was born at Montpellier Lodge, Montpellier Crescent, New Brighton, Cheshire, on 10 January 1861, the fourth son and thirteenth of fourteen children of Samuel Marshall Bulley (1811–1880), cotton broker, and his wife, Mary Rachel (1817–1887)...

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Busch, John (c. 1730–1795), nurseryman and landscape gardener, was born at Lüneburg, Hanover. Christened Johann, he later signed himself Johann Busch, John Busch, or John Bush. The family retained the spelling Busch. Although his early education and training are uncertain, it is likely that he studied gardening in ...

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Caparne [formerly Caparn], William John (1855–1940), artist and horticulturist, was born in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, on 17 November 1855, the eldest child of William Horner Caparn, an organist and music teacher, and his wife, Sophia (b. 1839/40), the daughter of William Warwick...

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Conyngham, William Burton (1733–1796), politician and improver, was born William Burton in 1733, the second son of Francis Burton (1696–1743), politician and landowner, of Buncraggy, co. Clare, Ireland, and Mary Conyngham (d. 1737), the only surviving daughter of Major-General Henry Conyngham and the sister of ...

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Cook, Ernest Edward (1865–1955), art collector and preservationist, was born at Camberwell, London, on 4 September 1865, the second of the three sons of John Mason Cook (1834–1899), travel agent [see under Cook, Thomas], and Emma, daughter of Thomas William Hodges...

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Cooke, Edward William (1811–1880), marine artist and gardener, was born on 27 March 1811 in Chapel Street, Pentonville, London, the second of the eleven children of George Cooke (1781–1834) [see under Cooke family], engraver and print publisher, and his wife, Elizabeth Harriet Eglinton (1785–1882)...

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Douglas, Cecilia (1772–1862), West India planter, slave owner, and art collector, was born in Glasgow on 28 February 1772, the daughter of John Douglas, West India merchant, formerly of Edinburgh, and his wife, Cecilia, daughter of George Buchanan, merchant. Both her maternal and paternal family lines had connections with the ...

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Emes, William (1729/30–1803), landscape designer and gardener, whose early life is obscure, took up the post of head gardener to Sir Nathaniel Curzon at Kedleston, Derbyshire, on 8 September 1756. He remained there until 1760, perhaps leaving his post because the appointment of ...

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Finlay, Ian Hamilton (1925–2006), poet, artist, and gardener, was born in Nassau, Bahamas, on 28 October 1925, the son of James Hamilton Finlay and his wife, Annie Whitelaw, née Pettigrew. According to his son James Finlay was a bootlegger who smuggled rum into the ...

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Finnis, Valerie Margaret Steriker [married name Valerie Margaret Steriker Montagu Douglas Scott, Lady Montagu Douglas Scott] (1924–2006), gardener and photographer, was born on 31 October 1924 at Wyke Cottage, Crowborough, Sussex, the younger daughter of Steriker Finnis, a paymaster commander in the ...

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Margery Fish (1892–1969) by Valerie Finnis, 1960s © Valerie Finnis/National Portrait Gallery, London