The Landscape Guide

Life of John Claudius Loudon his wife

Early life London Country Residences Ferm ornee Russia Loss of fortune   Hothouses France and Italy Gardeners Magazine Marriage Birmingham Scotland Arboretum Suburban Gardener  Cemeteries Last illness Death Anecdotes Elegy

Loss of first fortune

I have already mentioned that when Mr. Loudon went abroad he had a large sum of money lying unemployed in his banker's hands; and with this he was induced, I know not how, to embark in mercantile speculations, and underwriting ships at Lloyd's. As he knew nothing of business of this nature, it is not surprising that his speculations turned out badly; and for more than twelve months he was involved in pecuniary difficulties. I am unable to give all the details of his sufferings during this period, as it was a subject he never spoke of, and the allusions to it in his memorandum books are by no means explicit. It appears, however, that, after having made several fruitless journeys (including one to Paris in 1815) in the hope of recovering some part of the property, he was compelled to submit to the loss of nearly the whole; and that his health was very seriously injured by the anxieties he underwent.

About this time (1816) his mother and sisters left the country; and he, having determined that in future they should reside with him, took a house at Bayswater called the Hermitage, which had a large garden annexed. His health was now seriously impaired, but his mind always seemed to acquire additional vigour from the feebleness of his body; and, as he was unable to use so much exertion as he had formerly done in landscape gardening, he amused himself by trying experiments relating to the construction of hothouses, and by having several of different kinds erected in his garden.


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