Gilbert Laing Meason

a biography from the Garden and Landscape Guide

Born - Died : 1769 - 1832

A friend of Sir Walter Scott and the man who invented the term 'landscape architecture', in the title of a book on The Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy (London, 1828). Gilbert Laing Meason lived at Lindertis House near Forfar, in Fife, Scotland. He was a romantic and died without the faintest idea that his concept of 'landscape architecture' was destined for a worldwide future. Few copies of the book were printed but one of them fell into the hands of John Claudius Loudon, the most prolific garden author of any age. Loudon took up the term and passed it to Andrew Jackson Downing, who passed it to Frederick Law Olmsted. The meaning of 'landscape architecture' evolved and changed but there is much to be gained by returning to the circumstances of its inception. Meason's interest in architecture was inspired by the outward appearance of buildings (beauty- venustas)ᅠbut extended to the other Vitruvian virtues of firmitas (firmness) and utilitas (commodity). The importance of combining use with beauty is stressed throughout Meason's book and led him on to other matters which became part of landscape architecture in the modern sense: the placing of buildings and the types of space with which they are surrounded.

Gilbert Laing MEASON was born on 3 Jul 1769 in Kirkwall St Ola, Orkney, Scotland on 3 Jul 1769 to Robert Laing and Barbara Blaw He died on 14 Aug 1832 in Venice. He married Mary Whitelaw WEMYSS on 16 May 1811 in Aberdour, Fife, Scotland. Mary Whitelaw WEMYSS was born on 6 Dec 1792. She died on 17 May 1858. She married Gilbert Laing MEASON on 16 May 1811 in Aberdour, Fife, Scotland. They had the following children:
Eleanor LAING was born in 1811.
Magnus Gilbert LAING was born in 1813.
 Robert William Crawford Meason DE LA LAING Kammerjunker was born in 1815. He was buried on 17 Jul 1886.
 Magnus LAING was born in 1819.
 Malcolm Ronald LAING was born in 1821.
 Emily LAING was born in 1822.
Adam LAING was born in 1824.
William LAING was born in 1826.