Vol 13 No 10; Hampton Court's King's Gardeners

Non-Hampton & Richmond Borough related posts.
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Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

George Lowe (Senior) & George Lowe (Junior)

In St Mary’s Burial ground is a very grand Memorial to George Lowe (1716-1758), who was the King’s Master Gardener at Hampton Court, from 1738 until his death. The role was held under both King George II (1683-1760) and King George III (1738-1820).

George Lowe’s son, also called George Lowe (1740-1814) is believed to have planted the Great Vine. For ease I will refer to George (Snr) and George (Jnr).

George (Snr) was born in Cheshire in 1716 and at some stage, certainly by 1738 had taken up employment at Hampton Court. During this period, Lance ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-1783) had responsibility for many grand gardens throughout the country and would no doubt have left day to day responsibility to the ‘man on the spot’.

George II carried a lot of remedial work at Hampton Court Palace but after 1737 decided that he no longer wanted to use it as a Royal residence which is when it became used as a ‘grace and favour’ residence. George (Snr) was one of those who would have been allowed to live on site. George (Snr) was paid £1,071 annually – a very goodly sum.

George (Jnr) was born at Hampton Court in 1740, and was baptised in April of that year. Unsurprisingly George (Jnr) followed his father into working in the Hampton Court Gardens. Still under the overall control of Brown, George (Jnr) was responsible for the planting of the Great Vine in 1768 – which is still flourishing over 250 years later.

George (Jnr) reported about the fertility of the Hampton Court Vine. It would seem that the roots had forced themselves several feet down into a drain that was carrying water away to the Thames.

A following article will dwell on the Lowe’s ‘cottage’ – more of a stately home!.

The Old Historian
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