Individuals who developed the gardens




Thomas Hill (c.1528-c.1574)

Writer and translator. Works included A Briefe Treatyse of Gardening (1560) and The Gardeners Labyrinth (1577) published under the pseudonym Didymus Mountaine and dedicated to William Cecil.

John Gerard (1545-1612)

Botanist and herbalist. Writer of Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes first published in 1597, dedicated to Sir William Cecil and the most widely circulated botany book in the seventeenth century. Botanical genus Gerardia named in his honour. Gerard supervised William Cecil’s collection of plants at his London home and at Theobalds.

John Parkinson (1566-1650)

Apothecary, herbalist and writer. Works included Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris, or, A Garden of All Sorts of Pleasant Flowers … with a Kitchen Garden … and an Orchard (1629) which was dedicated to Queen Henrietta Maria. Charles I duly gave him the title botanicus regius primaries.

John Tradescant the elder (c.1570s – 1638)

English naturalist, gardener, collector and traveller. Head gardener to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, at Hatfield House and also listed Sir William as a benefactor. Commissioned by Cecil to visit the Low Countries 1610-15 to collect cherries, quince, medlars and Provins roses for the gardens at Hatfield. Keeper of his Majesty’s Gardens, Vines and Silkworms at Oatlands Palace, Surrey from 1630. Botanical genus Tradescantia named in his honour. Evidence suggests that Tradescant was familiar with the gardens at Theobalds, even if there are no records of him actually working there. His familiarity is even more likely considering that Cecil was still involved with supervision of works to the Palace after he had exchanged it for Hatfield.

Mountain (Montague) Jennings (fl. 1600-75)

Gardener for Robert Cecil at Hatfield and keeper of his Majesty’s House and Gardens at Theobalds in 1618. Familiar with the gardens at Hatfield and almost certainly in regular contact with John Tradescant.