- Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library: Account Book www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/libraries-at-rhs/collections/library-online/capability-brown-account-book
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was initially commissioned to undertake work at Brocklesby in Lincolnshire in 1771 by Charles Anderson Pelham, later first Baron Yarborough.
Pelham had inherited the estate in 1763 from a great uncle and decided to remodel the estate following his marriage to Sophia Aufrere in 1770. Brown submitted his plan for the alteration of the grounds in 1771, but was back at Brocklesby the next year for three days creating plans for the more distant areas of the estate including the former Newsome Abbey. Brown returned again in 1773 this time to prepare plan “for the Improvement of Brocklesby Agreeable to the Building of a New House … A great deal of trouble it was to me” was added below this in the account book entry. The plan did not get put into place, and Brown worked on remodelling elements of the Jacobean mansion instead. This was destroyed by fire in 1898, although reconstructed, but it is unclear what elements of the house were Brown’s responsibility.
Brown visited again in 1778 and wrote to his daughter that he had sent her some plovers’ eggs. “They were boyl’d at Mr. Pelham’s and packed in Bran. There is but a few, but it was all I could get.” He was paid £2800 that year, with a final unknown payment in 1780.
Brocklesby remains in the hands of the hands of the Pelham family and the Eighth Earl of Yarborough currently lives there with his family. Brocklesby Park is a working estate, and not open to the public.
Dorothy Stroud, Capability Brown, Faber & Faber, 1975, page 160
Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library: Account Book www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/libraries-at-rhs/collections/library-online/capability-brown-account-book