Here’s a little story on the 1%. Today we strolled the grounds of Burghley House, home of the Marquess of Exeter, still privately held and considered the finest house of the Elizabethan age.
The part of the house they let the riffraff in was closed for winter, but of course, I wanted to snoop around the out-buildings. I don’t know where the gardeners slept, there were a lot of attached buildings.
Here’s Clare on getting a job there as a young man, “It was thought that I shoud never be able for hard work and I chusd the trade of a Gardener when A companion of mine Thomas Porter of Ashton told me that the master of the kitchen gardens at burghley wanted an apprentice so off my father took me it was a fine sabbath morning and when we arrivd he mistaking every body for gentlemen that wore white stockings pulld off his hat to the gardiner as if it had been the Marquis himself.”
Five miles away, Clare’s family was starving. Clare and the other gardeners were locked in at night to keep them from stealing fruit from the trees. You could get sent to Australia for entering the park. The hotel we stayed at in town is owned and let by the estate, like a good bit of Stamford. Just amazing really to think how these homes were built and maintained, even today. The current Marquess lives in Ashland, Oregon I think.
There was really no way Clare, as a garden boy, would have ever met the Lord, despite living in the same house.
After three years, due to the brutality of the garden master, he ran away with the foreman. In fact, it was probably a terrible idea as he rarely held a steady position after that, and life for him just got more difficult, despite his later brief success with his poems.
Victor left in the evening back for London. He kept fluttering about today, “This is like Downtown Abbey!!!” It was adorable. I am getting an early morning train to Grimbsy. What a swell weekend! I hope I get to come back to Stamford again.
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