The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Strathfieldsaye chesnuts

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Mr. Cooper informed us that the Duke of Wellington gave him some chestnuts which he had received from America, gathered from the tree which General Washington planted with his own hands, and from which (more fortunate than we have been, though we have received chestnuts three times from the same tree, once from Mrs. Seaton of Washington, and twice from Dr. Mease of Philadelphia,) he has raised three or four plants. We should be curious to know on what principle these chestnuts were sent to the Duke of Wellington: not that the merits of the latter general are at all less than those of the former, because we believe that the actions of all men are the joint results of their organisation and the circumstances in which they are placed; but that we should like to know the feelings of the sender, and whether he was a Briton or an American. We have always had a great respect for the straight-forward character of the Duke of Wellington, and a profound admiration of General Washington; but, with reference to all that is essentially grand in human nature, we have never for a moment placed the former on a par with the latter. As to the Duke of Wellington's private character as a husband and a master, all that we have heard at Strathfieldsaye and its neighbourhood places him, and also the late duchess, very high in our estimation.