Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – to the point…

  • 1716 Baptised at St. Wilfred’s Church, Kirkharle, Northumberland.
  • 1732 leaves school to work as an apprentice gardener for Sir William Loraine at nearby Kirkharle Hall.
  • 1740 after moving south, Brown gains employment for Lord Cobham at Stowe, where he was to work under direction of William Kent.
  • 1744 marries Bridget Wayet in St. Mary’s Church, Stowe.
  • 1751 moves his family to Hammersmith.
  • 1764 gains Royal appointment as Master Gardener, and moves to Wilderness House at Hampton Court.
  • 1767 purchased Fenstanton Manor, three years later becoming High Sheriff of Huntingdonshire.
  • 1783 Died at his daughter Bridget’s house in Hertford St. London.



About Lancelot Capability Brown

Hello and Welcome to my Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown blog! I thrive on the richness and diversity found within our historic gardens and landscapes and I hope through this blog to paint a picture of Lancelot Brown’s 18th Century world, his landscapes and life. I’d like this blog to spread the Brownian word far and wide, so please join in, suggest post subjects, send in potential articles or links to anything and everything with 'Capability'. I’ll also be looking forward to the Capability Brown Tercentenary Celebration of his birth in 2016, and look forward to an incredible year where the work of Brown can receive more praise and recognition than ever before. I've also launched a Twitter account under the title of @Brown2016 where for the next few years I plan to help spread the word and at the very least play my part in the build-up to a special year for all who enjoy landscape gardening in its true form. All views are my own and do not represent those of any organisation.
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6 Responses to Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – to the point…

  1. Karen Lynch says:

    Unfortunately the portrait featured in the blog entry on 13 April is unlikely to be of Brown. Although it is tagged on the BBC/Catalogue Foundation website as such, the York City Art Gallery catalogue is more circumspect, listing it as ‘possibly Lancelot Brown’. It was bought by YCAG in 1969 because the artist, M.F. Quadal, had been based in Yorkshire as a society painter for a couple of years. The Brown tag seems to have been added later, based simply on the likeness to the famous Dance portrait.
    The York portrait is unsigned and undated but another version exists with Quadal’s signature and the date 1777 and is one of a pair of portraits believed to be of Charles and Mary Hoyland of Halifax. These portraits remained with the family until very recently and it would seem that the couple commissioned the portraits when Quadal was in Yorkshire in the late 1770s.
    Does anyone know more?
    Quadal does have an interesting garden connection, although not to Brown. His full-length of John Burdon was displayed in the Banqueting House in the landscape park at Hardwick, County Durham.

    • Hi Karen, fascinating indeed. Based on your findings, which seem perfectly reasonable to me, would you be agreeable to me moving the image to feature in a post of its own? I think the story you place behind it and the similarity of the sitter to Brown will surely provoke discussion and interest… At least then this original post can be updated and brought into line..

  2. The title of the Quadal painting is being corrected on the BBC – Your Paintings website to ‘Portrait of Charles Hoyland’, although the change will not appear until the end of June.

  3. Just to confirm that the title of the Quadal painting, on the BBC — Your Paintings website, has now been changed.

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