Humphry Repton was a gentle soul. He was born in 1752, the son of an Essex career tax collector, and upon completing his education, was expected to follow his father into a commercial world. His tastes were for music, poetry and painting however and all his attempts to prosper in a business career made him unhappy. He did a stint in Ireland as Private Secretary to William Windham, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and it was while working for Windham that Repton conceived the idea of a career in gardening. He resolved to follow in the path of Capability Brown, and returned to Essex.
He worked tirelessly and steadily built up a reputation for himself. As part of his service he drew on his talents as a painter, preparing for his clients, before and after sketches illustrating his proposals. That he was asked to work on gardens originally laid down by Brown is a tribute to Humphry Repton's skill and artistry as a gardener. West Wycombe Park was just one of his outstanding successes, it has vista's little altered with the passage of time and, the house in its spectacular setting looks out over a panorama of lush trees and water-meadows.
Repton's contemporaries continued to design in the classical style, using temples a huge garden statutory. Repton abandoned this method in favour of a more relaxed and romantic image using fairy-like grottoes, flower-gardens and gravel paths bordered with delicate scented flowers and roses. The gardens at Betchworth House beside the River Mole in Surrey perfectly demonstrate all of Repton's guile and romantic vision.
During his long career for a time he focused on architecture. He built the grand Sheringham Hall in 1812-1818, and his son laid down the surrounding parkland. Repton was also a prolific writer of gardening articles, he wrote for noted periodicals and produced several books on landscaping.
Humphry Repton died in 1818, he lies buried in the peaceful churchyard of St.Michael and All Angels Church, Aylsham, Norfolk. It is believed that he wrote the epitaph inscribed on his grave stone.
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|Thomas Bewick||Born August 1753, died 8th November 1828 aged 75|
|William Blake||Born 28th November 1757, died 12th August 1827 aged 69|
|Capability Brown||Born 1716, died 6th February 1783 aged 67|
|John Byng||Born 29th October 1704, died 14th March 1757 aged 52|
|Charles John Canning||Born 14th December 1812, died 17th June 1862 aged 49|
|George Canning||Born 11th April 1770, died 8th August 1827 aged 57|
|Henry Cavendish||Born 10th October 1731, died 24th February 1810 aged 78|
|Captain James Cook||Born 27th October 1728, died 14th February 1779 aged 50|
|Elizabeth Gaskell||Born 29th September 1810, died 12th November 1865 aged 55|
|Robert Hawker||Born 3rd December 1803, died 15th August 1875 aged 71|
|Robert Owen||Born 14th May 1771, died 17th November 1858 aged 87|
|Robert Peel||Born 5th February 1788, died 2nd July 1850 aged 62|
|John Peel||Born 1776, died 1854 aged 78|
|Joseph Priestley||Born 13th March 1733, died 8th February 1804 aged 70|
|Peter Mark Roget||Born 18th January 1779, died 12th September 1869 aged 90|
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