Page 1

E d wa r d B aw d e n ’ s P e y t o n S k i p w i t h & B r i a n Webb


revolt in the gardens

a

lthough Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from

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23


revolt in the gardens

a

lthough Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been brought back from the Cape by his protegé Francis Masson, the first of his botanical collectors, but Blandford was not the only one to complain of this parsimony. William Herbert, parson son of the first Earl of Carnarvon, noted that ‘It was the narrow-minded doctrine of Sir J. Banks that he could only render the king’s collection superior to others by monopolising its contents.’ [Quoted WB p. 71] However no further

22

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Ed minis er amconsed delissim zzriurem non henim aciduni.

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been brought back from the Cape by his protegé Francis Masson, the first of his botanical collectors, but Blandford was not the only one to complain of this parsimony. William Herbert, parson son of the first Earl of Carnarvon, noted that ‘It was the narrow-minded doctrine of Sir J. Banks that he could only render the king’s collection superior to others by monopolising its contents.’ [Quoted WB p. 71] However no further

22

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Ed minis er amconsed delissim zzriurem non henim aciduni.

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Ed minis er amconsed delissim zzriurem non henim aciduni.

Ed minis er amconsed delissim zzriurem non henim aciduni.

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Ed minis er amconsed delissim zzriurem non henim aciduni.

Ed minis er amconsed delissim zzriurem non henim aciduni.

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been brought back from the Cape by his protegé Francis Masson, the first of his botanical collectors, but Blandford was not the only one to complain of this parsimony. William Herbert, parson son of the first Earl of Carnarvon, noted that ‘It was the narrow-minded doctrine of Sir J. Banks that he could only render the king’s collection superior to others by monopolising its contents.’ [Quoted WB p. 71] However no further

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been brought back from the Cape by his protegé Francis Masson, the first of his botanical collectors, but Blandford was not the only one to complain of this parsimony. William Herbert, parson son of the first Earl of Carnarvon, noted that ‘It was the narrow-minded doctrine of Sir J. Banks that he could only render the king’s collection superior to others by monopolising its contents.’ [Quoted WB p. 71] However no further

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that

your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective

your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that

your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective

your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been brought back from the Cape by his protegé Francis Masson, the first of his botanical collectors, but Blandford was not the only one to complain of this parsimony. William Herbert, parson son of the first Earl of Carnarvon, noted that ‘It was the narrow-minded doctrine of Sir J. Banks that he could only render the king’s collection superior to others by monopolising its contents.’ [Quoted WB p. 71] However no further

22

23


Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Adam and Evelyn at Kew

Although Banks could be tyrannical, he was a firm and devoted guardian of the interests of both the King and Kew, as can be seen from his defence of William Aiton against Lord Blandford’s bullying. Blandford in high-handed manner had sent his gardener to Kew to get some Stapelia cuttings, and was highly incensed at Aiton’s rejection of the request. He wrote a hectoring letter to Banks which ended: ‘I must impose further on your goodness to order Mr Aiton to send them.’ In a masterly response Banks replied that ‘The King’s orders to me were that your Lordship should have such plants from Kew Garden as you wanted and could properly be spared it is solely upon the interpretation of the word Properly then that your Lordship and me can possibly differ I shall therefor take the liberty to define what in my opinion was His Majesty’s meaning by that word in order that H.M.’s farther pleasure may be taken if I am wrong.’ He went on to explain how important it was that Kew should always retain a sufficient number of plants of each species to rule out the danger of loss, which is ‘a matter which probably no one but myself is able to judge.’ His letter concluded: ‘Probably your Lordship will be satisfied that Mr Aiton could not with propriety suffer your Lordship’s Gardiner to take cuttings from the Stapelias at his discretion indeed I have never encouraged the admission of Gentlemen’s gardiners to act for themselves I have generally found these gentlemen little thankful for what they get and very clamorous for what is refused them.’ [Quoted Cameron, op.cit.pp80-1] Banks may have been a little over-protective with regard to the Stapelias, forty varieties of which had been brought back from the Cape by his protegé Francis Masson, the first of his botanical collectors, but Blandford was not the only one to complain of this parsimony. William Herbert, parson son of the first Earl of Carnarvon, noted that ‘It was the narrow-minded doctrine of Sir J. Banks that he could only render the king’s collection superior to others by monopolising its contents.’ [Quoted WB p. 71] However no further

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Edward Bawden's Kew Gardens  

This book draws on Edward Bawden’s delightful illustrations, posters and linocuts of Kew Gardens made over 60 years. It presents a light-hea...

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