- 1793-01-01 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Handwritten note on one sheet of paper.
Name of creator
Thomas Blaikie was born in 1751 in Corstorphine, the son of a market gardener. It is suggested he may have been a student gardener at RBGE and possibly then worked at Kew, the Hammersmith nursery and Upton House in East Ham for Dr John Fothergill. He was engaged jointly by Dr Fothergill and Dr William Pitcairn to undertake a plant collecting trip in the Swiss Alps from April to December 1775. In September 1776 James Lee of the Hammersmith Nursery engaged Blaikie to provide plants for the Comte de Lauraguais and he was subsequently employed to work on the Comte’s garden in Normandy. From 1778 he was employed in the gardens at Bagatelle by the Comte D’Artois, the youngest brother of Louis XVI and future Charles X. He also worked at St Leu, Monceau and Le Raincy for the Duc de Chartres (who later became Duc D’Orleans and then Philippe Égalité) and undertook a number of private commissions. It is also thought that he was involved in making alterations to the gardens at Malmaison.
Blaikie is credited with introducing the English style of gardening and British gardeners to France, where his method of grafting came to be known as ‘graffe Blaikie’. He died at his house on the rue de Vignes in Paris in 1838. His diaries covering the period 1775 to 1792 were published in 1931, entitled ‘Diary of a Scotch Gardener at the French Court at the end of the Eighteenth Century’.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Handwritten note, initialled by Thomas Blaikie noting trees, shrubs and plants supplied by James Lee at Hammersmith and giving assurances regarding payment.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Open for consultation on appointment with the archivist.
Conditions governing reproduction
Permission for reproduction is required from RBGE.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Very fragile, requiring extremely careful handling.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Lee, James, 1754-1824, gardener (Subject)