KNOWING that I was fond both of practical gardening and the study of old garden literature, Mr. Percy Newberrv suggested to me in the Spring of 1891, that I should edit some articles he had written on the History of Gardening in England down to the reign of Elizabeth, which had appeared in the Gardener's Chronicle in 1889 ; and that I should carry on the History from that point. I became so much interested in the subject, and had collected so much new material, that I decided to enlarge on the original plan, and not only to continue the history, but to traverse again all the earlier part, drawing my information afresh from the original authorities. I wish, therefore, to acknowledge my indebtedness to Mr. Newberrv, who so kindly put his articles and notes at my disposal in the first instance.

I have to thank the many friends who have very kindly afforded me information respecting their gardens, and provided me with plans or photographs, or who have given me ready access to the MSS. in their possession in public or private collections.

I also wish gratefully to acknowledge the kindness of Mr. J. G. Baker, f.r.s., in looking over the following pages whilst still in proof sheets. The correction of the proofs had been rendered an easy task for me by the kind co-operation of my friend, Miss Margaret MacArthur. My thanks are also due to Professor Skeat and Mr. James Britten for their help in the identification of some of the plants mentioned in the fifteenth century MSS., and to Mr. R. E. G. Kirk who assisted me in decyphering some of the earlier Latin ones, also to Mr. Michael Kerney for revising my bibliography of printed books on gardening to the end of the seventeenth century. I regret that the continuation from the year 1699 has not received as much time and attention as I wished to bestow upon it, as I have had to complete it rather hurriedly on account of my having been absent abroad for several months.


Didlington Hall, Norfolk. September, 1895.