Letters from Humphry Repton’s Family

The life and work of Humphry Repton are of interest to scholars and readers from a wide variety of historical sub-disciplines because his activities made an impact not only on architecture, gardens and the landscape but also on individuals, localities and Georgian society more generally. His surviving letters, manuscripts and published works of various types, which are housed in numerous repositories, have been drawn on by historians to reconstruct different aspects of Repton’s contribution to the English landscape and to Georgian society. Whereas Repton’s landscape design books (known as his Red Books), his other designs and published printed works display his public side, as do his memoirs, the letters written by him held at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, provide a different view. They shed light on some of his private thoughts and attitudes, at times somewhat negative, written as they were towards the end of his life, which,

Architecture and family life in early-Georgian Norfolk

John Buxton, Norfolk Gentleman and Architect, Letters to his son 1719-1729 Reading other people’s letters is not obviously legitimate, but past collections can fairly be explored to illuminate the lives of individuals and their families. Between 1719 and 1729, John Buxton (1685-1731), a south-Norfolk landowner remembered as a gentleman-architect, exchanged letters with his eldest son Robert (1710-1751). The letters begin when Robert left home as a nine-year-old for boarding school in Suffolk, and end with his graduation from Clare Hall, Cambridge. The collection is complemented by John Buxton’s account of a tour he made in 1720, visiting country houses, and the record of Robert’s visit to Oxford in 1729. This was early-Georgian England, before industrialisation and the development of modern communications. The documents have been published by the Norfolk Record Society as their volume 69, 2005, edited by Alan Mackley, John Buxton, Norfolk Gentleman and Architect. John Buxton, his wife