John Tradescant - 1618
John Tradescant first travelled after 1609 when he
entered the service of Robert Cecil who became the first
Earl of Salisbury. He visited sites all over Europe to bring
back plants and trees including roses, fritillaries and
mulberrys to the gardens at Hatfield. Later (1618), in the
service of Sir Edward Wotton, Tradescant accompanied a
diplomatic mission to Russia with Sir Dudley Digges from
Chilham, they were best of friends, and he also visited
Algiers, always taking botanical notes and gathering plants.
By the 1620's Tradescant had achieved a prominent position
as a director of gardens whose advice was sought by the
highest in the land.
When the Jacobean house at Chilham Castle was completed
by Sir Dudley Digges asked John Tradescant to design the
gardens. They consisted of a large walled garden laid out in
a series of eight of sloping ground divided by walls and
fences and each planted with a pattern of boxed beds and
paths and terraces with a gazebo at the eastern end. The
Black Mulberry which still stands is possibly a tree
collected on John Tradescantís travels round Europe.
Chilham Castle garden remained in being until Thomas Heron
sought the advice of Capability Brown around 1780.
In 1629 John Tradescant was appointed Royal Gardener. The
John Tradescants are buried in the churchyard of
St-Mary-at-Lambeth which is now the Museum of Garden
History, along with the grandson of the same name, who died
aged nineteen. The knot garden at the museum is in the style
of the Tradescants' time.