Saturday, May 30, 2015
Advocata Nostra, said to be the oldest icon of Mary in Rome, at the Dominican Sisters Convent on Via Trionfale on Monte Mario. Reportedly, this icon can be traced back to its origin in Jerusalem, where tradition holds, that it was painted by St Luke after the Resurrection, at the request of the apostles. Further tradition states that after St Luke had sketched the outline, the image of Our Lady appeared on it. No human hand was involved. Such works are referred to as achiropita—"made without hands." c 500s?
Drinking in Early America - 1811 Philadelphia's Dr Benjamin Rush writes of the harmful effects of drinking
An Inquiry into the effects of Spirituous Liquors upon the Human Body, and their influence upon the happiness of society ... Originally published at Philadelphia in 1811
1768 A Caricature Group of Drinkers by John Hamilton Mortimer (British painter, 1740-1779)
The Effects of Ardent Spirits upon the Human Body & Mind by Benjamin Rush, MD Philadelphia, 1816.
By ardent spirits, I mean those liquors only which are obtained by distillation from fermented substances of any kind. To their effects upon the bodies & minds of men, the following inquiry shall be exclusively confined.
The effects of ardent spirits divide themselves into such as are of a prompt, & such as are of a chronic nature. The former discover themselves in drunkenness; & the latter in a numerous train of diseases & vices of the body & mind.
I. I shall begin by briefly describing their prompt or immediate effects in a fit of drunkenness.
This odious disease—for by that name it should be called—appears with more or less of the following symptoms, & most commonly in the order in which I shall enumerate them.
1. Unusual garrulity.
2. Unusual silence.
3. Captiousness, & a disposition to quarrel.
4. Uncommon good-humor, & an insipid simpering, or laugh.
5. Profane swearing & cursing.
6. A disclosure of their own or other people’s secrets.
7. A rude disposition to tell those persons in company whom they know, their faults.
8. Certain immodest actions. I am sorry to say this sign of the first stage of drunkenness sometimes appears in women, who, when sober, are uniformly remarkable for chaste & decent manners.
9. A clipping of words.
10. Fighting; a black eye, or a swelled nose, often mark this grade of drunkenness.
11. Certain extravagant acts which indicate a temporary fit of madness. Those are singing, hallooing, roaring, imitating the noises of brute animals, jumping, tearing off clothes, dancing naked, breaking glasses & china, & dashing other articles of household furniture upon the ground or floor. After a while the paroxysm of drunkenness is completely formed. The face now becomes flushed, the eyes project, & are somewhat watery, winking is less frequent than is natural; the under lip is protruded—the head inclines a little to one shoulder—the jaw falls—belchings & hiccough take place—the limbs totter—the whole body staggers. The unfortunate subject of this history next falls on his seat—he looks around him with a vacant countenance, & mutters inarticulate sounds to himself—he attempts to rise & walk: in this attempt he falls upon his side, from which he gradually turns upon his back: he now closes his eyes & falls into a profound sleep, frequently attended with snoring, & profuse sweats, & sometimes with such a relaxation of the muscles which confine the bladder & the lower bowels, as to produce a symptom which delicacy forbids me to mention. In this condition he often lies from ten, twelve, & twenty-four hours, to two, three, four, & five days, an object of pity & disgust to his family & friends. His recovery from this fit of intoxication is marked with several peculiar appearances. He opens his eyes & closes them again—he gapes & stretches his limbs—he then coughs & pukes—his voice is hoarse—he rises with difficulty, & staggers to a chair—his eyes resemble balls of fire—his hands tremble—he loathes the sight of food—he calls for a glass of spirits to compose his stomach—now & then he emits a deep-fetched sigh, or groan, from a transient twinge of conscience; but he more frequently scolds, & curses every thing around him. In this stage of languor & stupidity he remains for two or three days, before he is able to resume his former habits of business & conversation...
Toby Phillpot 1786 by Carrington Bowles
It belongs to the history of drunkenness to remark, that its paroxysms occur, like the paroxysms of many diseases, at certain periods, & after longer or shorter intervals. They often begin with annual, & gradually increase in their frequency, until they appear in quarterly, monthly, weekly, & quotidian or daily periods. Finally, they afford scarcely any marks of remission, either during the day or the night. There was a citizen of Philadelphia, many years ago, in whom drunkenness appeared in this protracted form. In speaking of him to one of his neighbors, I said, “Does he not sometimes get drunk?” “You mean,” said his neighbor, “is he not sometimes sober?”
It is further remarkable, that drunkenness resembles certain hereditary, family, & contagious diseases. I have once known it to descend from a father to four out of five of his children. I have seen three, & once four brothers, who were born of sober ancestors, affected by it; & I have heard of its spreading through a whole family composed of members not originally related to each other. These facts are important, & should not be overlooked by parents, in deciding upon the matrimonial connections of their children.
1773 Human Passions - Greed for liquor by Thomas Sanders after John Collier (Tim Bobbin) (British artist, 1708-1786)
II. Let us next attend to the chronic effects of ardent spirits upon the body & mind. In the body they dispose to every form of acute disease; they moreover excite fevers in persons predisposed to them from other causes. This has been remarked in all the yellow-fevers which have visited the cities of the United States. Hard-drinkers seldom escape, & rarely recover from them. The following diseases are the usual consequences of the habitual use of ardent spirits:
1. A decay of appetite, sickness at stomach, & a puking of bile, or a discharge of a frothy & viscid phlegm, by hawking, in the morning.
2. Obstructions of the liver. The fable of Prometheus, on whose liver a vulture was said to prey constantly, as a punishment for his stealing fire from heaven, was intended to illustrate the painful effects of ardent spirits upon that organ of the body.
3. Jaundice, & dropsy of the belly & limbs, & finally of every cavity in the body. A swelling in the feet & legs is so characteristic a mark of habits of intemperance, that the merchants in Charleston, I have been told, cease to trust the planters of South Carolina as soon as they perceive it. They very naturally conclude industry & virtue to be extinct in that man, in whom that symptom of disease has been produced by the intemperate use of distilled spirits.
4. Hoarseness, & a husky cough, which often terminate in consumption, & sometimes in an acute & fatal disease of the lungs.
5. Diabetes, that is, a frequent & weakening discharge of pale or sweetish urine.
6. Redness, & eruptions on different parts of the body. They generally begin on the nose, & after gradually extending all over the face, sometimes descend to the limbs in the form of leprosy. They have been called “rum-buds,” when they appear in the face. In persons who have occasionally survived these effects of ardent spirits on the skin, the face after a while becomes bloated, & its redness is succeeded by a death-like paleness. Thus, the same fire which produces a red color in iron, when urged to a more intense degree, produces what has been called a white-heat.
7. A fetid breath, composed of every thing that is offensive in putrid animal matter.
8. Frequent & disgusting belchings. Dr. Haller relates the case of a notorious drunkard having been suddenly destroyed, in consequence of the vapor discharged from his stomach by belching, accidentally taking fire by coming in contact with the flame of a candle.
10. Gout, in all its various forms of swelled limbs, colic, palsy, & apoplexy.
11. Lastly, madness. The late Dr. Waters, while he acted as house-pupil & apothecary of the Pennsylvania hospital, assured me, that in one-third of the patients confined by this terrible disease, it had been induced by ardent spirits
Medieval Inn & Tavern Names
From Medievalists.net – January 31, 2014
British Library Medieval, Additional 27695, c. 1330-40
From 1423 to 1426 the names of over 50 taverns & inns were recorded by William Porland, who was the clerk for London’s fraternity of Brewers. In an article in the Journal of the English Place Name Society, Barrie Cox takes a look at these names & some of the reasons how they got them. Here are few:
1. The Swan – this was the most popular name, with 6 taverns in London using it. Other taverns were named for birds as well, including The Crane & The Cock. There were even taverns called The White Cock & The Red Cock.
2. The Dolphin (Dolphyn) was the name of a tavern near St. Magnus’ Church. Other animal names for taverns include The Horse, The Lamb & The Old Bull.
3. The Seven Stars (vij Sterres) – according to medieval knowledge, the 7 stars represented the sun, the moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus & Mercury. Another tavern had the name The Three Moons.
4. The King’s Head (kyngeshed) – a few other taverns had a similar name, including The Horse’s Head, The Ram’s Head & The Saracen’s Head
5. Two taverns were named after saints: The Christopher, after the patron saint of travellers, & The St. Julian, who was the patron saint of hospitality.
6. The Pewter Pot (peauterpotte) could be found in Ironmonger Lane in Cheapside. It probably got its name for a type of drinking vessel.
7. The Pannier (panyer) on Paternoster Rowe would have been based on the French word panier, which means bread basket. Barrie Cox writes “this seems appropriate as a name for a lowly eating- & drinking-house.”
8. The Cony (Cony yn Conyhooplane) was a Middle English word for a rabbit, leading Cox to believe “the name suggests a small tavern where a rabbit stew could be enjoyed.”
Other names of medieval taverns include The Ball, The Basket, The Bell, The Cross, The Cup, The Garland, The Green Gate, The Hammer, The Lattice, The Rose & 2 that were called The Ship.
Barrie Cox’ article ‘Some London Inn & Tavern Names 1423-1426′ appears the Journal of the English Place Name Society, Vol.30(1997-8). He also wrote the book English Inn & Tavern Names, which was published in 1994 & is available from the Institute for Name Studies, University of Nottingham.
Friday, May 29, 2015
1767 David Martin (1737-1797) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) in France
Benjamin Franklin wrote of Versailles to his daughter Polly on September 14, 1767:
"Versailles has had infinite Sums laid out in Building it and Supplying it with Water: Some say the Expence exceeded 80 Millions Sterling. The Range of Building is immense, the Garden Front most magnificent all of hewn Stone, the Number of Statues, Figures, Urns, &c in Marble and Bronze of exquisite Workmanship is beyond Conception.
"But the Waterworks are out of Repair, and so is great Part of the Front next the Town, looking with its shabby half Brick Walls and broken Windows not much better than the Houses in Durham Yard.
"There is, in short, both at Versailles and Paris, a prodigious Mixture of Magnificence and Negligence, with every kind of Elegance except that of Cleanliness, and what we call Tidyness."
1668 Pierre Patel (French artist, 1605-1676) Versailles
Garden façade of the Palace of Versailles, c 1675. Shown is the terrace that was later to become part of the Hall of Mirrors.
View of the Château de Versailles as seen from the Place d'Armes, c 1722, by Pierre-Denis Martin. This was how Versailles looked at the end of Louis XIV's 4th building campaign.
Just over a century later, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) wrote of Versailles in his 1869 The Innocents broad:
"Versailles! It is wonderfully beautiful! You gaze, and stare, and try to understand that it is real, that it is on the earth, that it is not the Garden of Eden—but your brain grows giddy, stupefied by the world of beauty around you, and you half believe you are the dupe of an exquisite dream. The scene thrills one like military music!
"A noble palace, stretching its ornamented front block upon block away, till it seemed that it would never end; a grand promenade before it, whereon the armies of an empire might parade; all about it rainbows of flowers, and colossal statues that were almost numberless, and yet seemed only scattered over the ample space; broad flights of stone steps leading down from the promenade to lower grounds of the park—stairways that whole regiments might stand to arms upon and have room to spare; vast fountains whose great bronze effigies discharged rivers of sparkling water into the air and mingled a hundred curving jets together in forms of matchless beauty; wide grass-carpeted avenues that branched hither and thither in every direction and wandered to seemingly interminable distances, walled all the way on either side with compact ranks of leafy trees whose branches met above and formed arches as faultless and as symmetrical as ever were carved in stone; and here and there were glimpses of sylvan lakes with miniature ships glassed in their surfaces.
"And every where—on the palace steps, and the great promenade, around the fountains, among the trees, and far under the arches of the endless avenues, hundreds and hundreds of people in gay costumes walked or ran or danced, and gave to the fairy picture the life and animation which was all of perfection it could have lacked".
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
"It was worth a pilgrimage to see. Everything is on so gigantic a scale. Nothing is small—nothing is cheap. The statues are all large; the palace is grand; the park covers a fair-sized county; the avenues are interminable. All the distances and all the dimensions about Versailles are vast. I used to think the pictures exaggerated these distances and these dimensions beyond all reason, and that they made Versailles more beautiful than it was possible for any place in the world to be. I know now that the pictures never came up to the subject in any respect, and that no painter could represent Versailles on canvas as beautiful as it is in reality. I used to abuse Louis XIV for spending two hundred millions of dollars in creating this marvelous park, when bread was so scarce with some of his subjects; but I have forgiven him now. He took a tract of land sixty miles in circumference and set to work to make this park and build this palace and a road to it from Paris. He kept 36,000 men employed daily on it, and the labor was so unhealthy that they used to die and be hauled off by cartloads every night. The wife of a nobleman of the time speaks of this as an "inconvenience," but naively remarks that "it does not seem worthy of attention in the happy state of tranquillity we now enjoy."
"I always thought ill of people at home who trimmed their shrubbery into pyramids and squares and spires and all manner of unnatural shapes, and when I saw the same thing being practiced in this great park I began to feel dissatisfied. But I soon saw the idea of the thing and the wisdom of it. They seek the general effect. We distort a dozen sickly trees into unaccustomed shapes in a little yard no bigger than a dining room, and then surely they look absurd enough. But here they take two hundred thousand tall forest trees and set them in a double row; allow no sign of leaf or branch to grow on the trunk lower down than six feet above the ground; from that point the boughs begin to project, and very gradually they extend outward further and further till they meet overhead, and a faultless tunnel of foliage is formed. The arch is mathematically precise. The effect is then very fine. They make trees take fifty different shapes, and so these quaint effects are infinitely varied and picturesque. The trees in no two avenues are shaped alike, and consequently the eye is not fatigued with anything in the nature of monotonous uniformity. I will drop this subject now, leaving it to others to determine how these people manage to make endless ranks of lofty forest trees grow to just a certain thickness of trunk (say a foot and two-thirds); how they make them spring to precisely the same height for miles; how they make them grow so close together; how they compel one huge limb to spring from the same identical spot on each tree and form the main sweep of the arch; and how all these things are kept exactly in the same condition and in the same exquisite shapeliness and symmetry month after month and year after year—for I have tried to reason out the problem and have failed.
"We walked through the great hall of sculpture and the one hundred and fifty galleries of paintings in the palace of Versailles, and felt that to be in such a place was useless unless one had a whole year at his disposal. These pictures are all battle scenes, and only one solitary little canvas among them all treats of anything but great French victories. We wandered, also, through the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon, those monuments of royal prodigality, and with histories so mournful—filled, as it is, with souvenirs of Napoleon the First, and three dead kings and as many queens. In one sumptuous bed they had all slept in succession, but no one occupies it now. In a large dining room stood the table at which Louis XIV and his mistress Madame Maintenon, and after them Louis XV, and Pompadour, had sat at their meals naked and unattended—for the table stood upon a trapdoor, which descended with it to regions below when it was necessary to replenish its dishes. In a room of the Petit Trianon stood the furniture, just as poor Marie Antoinette left it when the mob came and dragged her and the King to Paris, never to return. Near at hand, in the stables, were prodigious carriages that showed no color but gold—carriages used by former kings of France on state occasions, and never used now save when a kingly head is to be crowned or an imperial infant christened. And with them were some curious sleighs, whose bodies were shaped like lions, swans, tigers, etc.—vehicles that had once been handsome with pictured designs and fine workmanship, but were dusty and decaying now. They had their history. When Louis XIV had finished the Grand Trianon, he told Maintenon he had created a Paradise for her, and asked if she could think of anything now to wish for. He said he wished the Trianon to be perfection—nothing less. She said she could think of but one thing—it was summer, and it was balmy France—yet she would like well to sleigh ride in the leafy avenues of Versailles! The next morning found miles and miles of grassy avenues spread thick with snowy salt and sugar, and a procession of those quaint sleighs waiting to receive the chief concubine of the gaiest and most unprincipled court that France has ever seen!"
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Burlington House in London was begun by Sir John Denham, Charles II’s Surveyor of the Office of Works & a poet, whose wife was the mistress of James II. The house was one of the earliest of a number of very large private residences built on the north side of Piccadilly, previously a country lane, from the 1660s onwards. He started construction of an eleven-bay mansion designed by Hugh May in the mid 1660s. Denham had leased a site on the north side of Piccadilly in London. In 1667, the house was sold before its completion to Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Burlington, who carried on the construction. His grandson, the 3rd Earl, replaced his mother’s favorite architect, James Gibbs, with the Palladian enthusiast, Colen Campbell 1676 – 1729. Working closely with Campbell, Burlington refaced the house’s southern façade, drawing upon the work of Inigo Jones & Andrea Palladio.
Burlington House from Jan Kip and Leonard Knyff's Britannia Illustrata, 1707 Actual view probably 1698-99
The Knyff-Kip engraving depicts a comprehensive picture of the layout, showing the house with its forecourt & attendant buildings in the foreground, & the garden stretching away to the north over the Ten Acre Close, later to be built over. North & west of the office block were walled kitchen gardens, with a range of outhouses built against the west boundary wall. South of the stables was a yard, & to the north was another kitchen garden.The large garden behind the great house is laid out in a simple formal style. Three wide gravel walks extended northwards—one from the doorway in the middle of the house, & one near to each boundary wall. These walks were linked by cross walks, dividing the south part of the garden into four equal rectangular lawns, each furnished with a central statue on a pedestal. The north part of the ground is shown set out as a tree-lined flower garden, further divided into triangular plots by diagonal paths, each one bordered by high cut hedges, or enclosed by green tunnels, like those round the sunk garden at Kensington Palace. Practical espaliered fruit trees are shown planted against all the garden walls.
Burlington House in Piccadilly London from Beeverell's Grande Bretagne. (Borrowed from Kyp & Knyff) Publisher Pieter Van der Aa (1659-1733)
Burlington House, shown about 1700, in a later depicion.
The Man of Taste, William Hogarth 1697-1764 pokes fun at the subject of fashionable taste. Atop the gate of Burlington House is a statue of Lord Burlington’s favorite architect, William Kent (being admired, if not worshiped, by Raphael & Michelangelo at his feet). On a scaffold below, the tiny figure of Alexander Pope — who annoyed Hogarth with his poem, popularly known as Of False Taste — furiously whitewashes the gate. At the time when Pope dedicated his Epistle on Taste to Lord Burlington, his lordship was in his 36th year & engaged in ornamenting his gardens. Here, in his frantic compulsion, Pope splatters white paint on both passers-by & the coach of the Duke of Chandos.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The Nobleman Gentleman & Gardeners Recreation by S S; from Andrew Johnston 1718 (Lovely garden fountain.)
Forme of the Garden
The goodnesse of the soile, and site, are necessary to the wel being of an orchard simply, but the forme is so farre necessary, as the owner shall thinke meete, for that kind of forme wherewith euery particular man is delighted, we leaue it to himselfe, Suum cuique pulchrum. The vsuall forme is a square. The forme that men like in generall is a square, for although roundnesse be forma perfectissima, yet that principle is good where necessity by art doth not force some other forme. If within one large square the Gardner shall make one round Labyrinth or Maze with some kind of Berries, it will grace your forme, so there be sufficient roomth left for walkes, so will foure or more round knots do. For it is to be noted, that the eye must be pleased with the forme. I haue seene squares rising by degrees with stayes from your house-ward, according to this forme which I haue, Crassa quod aiunt Minerua, with an vnsteady hand, rough hewen, for in forming the country gardens, the better sort may vse better formes, and more costly worke...
A. Al these squares must bee set with trees, the Gardens and other ornaments must stand in spaces betwixt the trees, & in the borders & fences.
B. Trees 20. yards asunder.
C. Garden Knots.
D. Kitchen garden.
H. Walkes set with great wood thicke.
I. Walkes set with great wood round about your Orchard.
K. The out fence.
Monday, May 25, 2015
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Virginian William Byrd II's 1736 Virginia Plant List
Maria Sibylla Merian (German artist, 1647-1717)
Like his father, Colonel William Byrd, William Byrd II (1674-1744) was a wealthy Virginia planter on his inherited plantation Westover, on the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. He served as a member, & later president, of the Governor's Council, as did his father. His library was one of the finest of his time in the British American colonies. He recorded his observations on natural history as well as life in colonial Virginia.
William Byrd's Natural History of Virginia: Or, The Newly Discovered Eden is available in a translation edited by Richard Croom Beatty & William J. Mulloy from a German edition printed in 1737 (Dietz Press, Richmond, 1940). Since the 1950s, critics have compared "Byrd's Natural History" with accounts in John Lawson's 1709 "A New Voyage to Carolina" & found a similarity between the language in the 2 books. Some postulate that land developer Samuel Jenner, & not William Byrd, could be the principal author of "William Byrd's Natural History of Virginia," & that most of the accounts of the flora & fauna were taken from Lawson's book. I will list selections from Lawson's book on crops & fruits & vegetables in a following blog posting.
The following are the plants listed c.1736:
Turkish or Indian Corn
French beans (small beans)
Indian beans (dwarf beans)
FIELD AND POT-HERBS
Cardo bennet spoonwort
FLOWERS IN VIRGINIA
Wild apple tree
TREES, WHICH GROW IN THE WOODS
Elms, two species
Wild apple tree
Sweet gun tree
White gum tree
Black gum tree
Common maple tree
Egyptian fig tree
Glass wort tree
Red cluster grapes
Mulberry, Common Red
Spanish pepper tree
Winter currant tree
Wild fragrant apple tree
Fragrant laurel tree
TREES, WHICH ARE CULTIVATED, AND GROW IN THE ORCHARDS, WHICH ONE HAS BROUGHT THERE FROM ENGLAND AND OTHER PLACES IN EUROPE
Fall harvest apple
PEARS AND QUINCES
Summer bon chretien
Winter Bon chretien
ALL SORTS OF STONE FRUITS
Indian nut tree
Tracing William Byrd II's gardener "Tom" in the records of Westover & Williamsburg, seems to point to Thomas Creas (c 1662-1757) as one of the earliest professional gardeners in Virginia.
In Virginia early in the 18C, a succession of professional gardeners, who were not serving under an indenture, worked at institutions of the royal government in Williamsburg, including the Governor’s Palace & the College of William & Mary. Some of these professional gardeners held pristine credentials. James Road, an assistant to George London, Royal Gardener to King William & Queen Mary, was sent to Virginia in 1694, to collect plants for shipment back to Hampton Court Palace. He also probably to laid out the earliest gardens at the new college in Williamsburg. London had served as a gardener at Versailles & had traveled to Holland to study their smaller flower gardens, as well.
It is possible that James Road's supervising gardener George London (1681-1714) actually drew up the plans for the gardens at the College of William & Mary. Virginia planter John Walker wrote to John Evelyn in 1694. He received a reply to his particular query in May of 1694, in which Eveyln wrote, "Mr. London (his Majs Gardner here) who has an ingenious Servant of his, in Virginia, not unknown I presume to you by this time; being sent thither on purpose to make & plant the Garden, designed for the new Colledge, newly built in yr Country." The servant was London's assistant at Hampton Court, James Road.
The College, which was formally established by Royal Charter in 1693, began as a 330-acre tract of land purchased from Col. Thomas Ballard. William & Mary's 1st chancellor was Henry Compton, bishop of London. He was a serious gardener & horticulturalist who helped train George London to become a gardener.
Upon James Road's return to London, he was followed by gardener Richard Hickman. Soon after Hickman's appointment, the records indicate that Thomas Creas or Crease (c 1662-1757) was paid to assist Hickman in getting the gardens in order. After that, only Crease's name was associated with the ongoing management of the gardens at the Governor’s Palace for an unusually long tenure, from 1726, until he died in 1756.
It is unclear whether Creas was born, & perhaps trained, in the England. Some report that Thomas Creas was the head gardener at the Governor's Palace during the administration of Alexander Sportswood who served from 1710-1722. Others speculate that Creas came over from England with Governor Hugh Drysdale in 1722. Drysdale was the 1st Governor to occupy the new Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, from 1722-1726.
Others suggest that Crease may have begun his gardening work at Westover, the home of William Byrd II. Byrd calls his gardener Tom in his early journals & refers to a gardener "Tom Cross" in 1720. The same "Tom Cross" carried at least one letter from Byrd's Williamsburg brother-in-law John Custis during one of his visits to Westover. Byrd, Custis, & Tom Cross/Creas were all accomplished gardeners.
Two years before his appearance in the Governor's Palace records, in 1724, Creas was identified as a "gardener of Williamsburg, married & owning a half acre lot." His house was on the land now supporting the "Taliaferro-Cole" house. The earliest record relating to this property appears in a deed of trust, December 15, 1724, in which deed the lot number, 352, is noted & the owner's name, Thomas Creas:
December 15, 1724. Creas, Thomas - Gardener
Mary, his wife
Consideration: 5 shillings All that messuage or dwelling house wherein the said Thomas Creas, & Mary, his said wife, now live & all that lot or half acre of land described in the plot of the said city by the figures 352, situate, lying & being in the city of Williamsburg, & all kitchens, stables thereto belonging. (York County Records, Deeds, Bonds, III, p. 439.) The above deed of trust was acknowledged on January 18, 1724/5.
In a lease given by John Custis to James Spiers, joyner & cabinetmaker, on October 26, 1744, a lot is described as "one lot of ground, with the houses & garden thereunto belonging, it being the house next to Thomas Craze's..."
According to York County, Virginia, records Creas married the widow of Gabriel Maupin, Marie Hersent, in 1724. Gabriel Maupin, his wife Marie, & family had sailed to the Huguenot settlement at Manakintown, in Virginia, in 1699-1700, after passing through the Spittalsfield (now Bethnell Green) "suburb" of London in the late 1690s.
Gabriel had operated a tavern in Williamsburg from 1714-1718. After her husband died, Marie ran the tavern from 1719-1723. When she married Creas in 1724, they operated the tavern together. Marie, born in France, died in Williamsburg in 1748.
Creas began to be "paid for his Service & labourerers in assisting in putting in order the Gardens belonging to the Governor's house" in 1726. He also was "Gardener to the College, in Williamsburg."
In addition to operating a tavern in Williamsburg, Thomas Creas supplemented his income by selling plants. In January 1737/38, he placed an ad in the Virginia Gazette (Virginia Gazette, Parks, ed.), "Gentlemen & others, may be supply'd with good Garden Pease, Beans & several other sorts Flower Roots; likewise Trees of several sorts & sizes, fit to plant, as ornaments in Gentlemen's gardens...Thomas Crease--Gardener to the College in Williamsburg."
On May 9, 1739, Crease placed another ad in the Virginia Gazette, May 4, 1739, "Notice is hereby given, That the Subscriber, Now living in Williamsburg, designs to leave this Colony, in order to go to Great-Britain ——. It is therefore desired of all Persons who are indebted to him, to come to his Shop, or to the House of Mr. Thomas Crase, in Williamsburg, & pay their just Debts Hugh Orr"
When Creas died in 1756, his estate was valued at 166.4.3 pounds, & he owned 6 slaves according to his January 1757 inventory. His will, which was proved in York County on January 17, 1757, named a brother Thomas Hornsby & his wife Margaret, & friend Hugh Orr & Catherine, his wife. In his will, dated February 26, 1756, & probated January 17, 1757, Thomas Creas, gardener, living in Williamsburg, appointed Thomas Hornsby, his brother, & Hugh Orr executors. (York County Records, Wills, Inventories, Book 20, p. 414.)
Saturday, May 23, 2015
A few depictions of Northern European gardens & agriculture by Pieter van der Borcht (Flemish-born Dutch artist, 1540-1608)
Susanna in bad, Pieter van der Borcht (Flemish artist, 1540-1608)
A few of Pieter van der Borcht's images include formal gardens & agricultural countryside fields. Probably these are composites of gardens he had seen in his birthplace of Mechelen & Antwerp, where his family fled from the Spanish troops. He never left Antwerp creating works featuring traditional genre, history, & Biblical subjects.