A Scene in the Garden at Brandsbury, Willesden
Click on the main picture to view details
Humphrey Repton ( Bury St Edmunds 1752 - Romford 1818 )
The eldest son of a tax collector, Repton attended Norwich Grammar School, concluding his schooling with three years in the Netherlands. He was then apprenticed to a Norwich textile merchant and, after his marriage to Mary Clarke in 1773, was established in business by his father. In 1778, following the death of his parents, he resolved to live as a gentleman farmer, moving to Sustead Old Hall, Norfolk. The landscape sketches he made around this time (Norwich, Castle Museum)—the first indication of where his future career lay—were engraved for M. J. Armstrong’s History and Antiquities of the County of Norfolk (1781). He became a friend of William Windham of Felbrigg, travelling to Ireland as his private secretary in 1783, and acted as election manager on Windham’s entry into Parliament in 1784. Windham’s agent, Nathaniel Kent, taught Repton estate management, and from another neighbour, Robert Marsham of Stratton Strawless, he learnt about arboriculture. He moved c. 1786 to a smaller cottage at Hare Street, Romford, Essex, where he was to spend the rest of his life.