If you missed the installation “A CAPABLE BUSINESSMAN” at London’s Lindley Library, Royal Horticultural Society, you’re in luck: the internet is able to help.
Back in August 2016, the RHS posted this press release, alerting fans of Capability Brown that the Society’s copy of Brown’s Account Book was going on public display.
Calling Brown “one of the 18th century’s most successful and pioneering businessmen,” the research into this account book has revealed the “astonishing amounts” paid to Brown – and I can say, for Castle Ashby, by one of the Earls of Northampton! (the 9th Earl being uncle to my diarist, Emma Austen)
“Mostly written in his own hand,” Brown’s clientele numbered 125 individuals in this book alone (dating from 1759 until his death in 1783).
The book descended through family, and – though loaned to the Society in the 1950s – has now been donated to the Society.
The display coincided with the (ongoing) 300th Anniversary of the birth of Lancelot “Capability” Brown.
Clicking on the photo above will bring you to the online “copy” of Brown’s Account Book.
The London Parks & Gardens Trust also featured Capability Brown in its newsletter; some articles are found online.