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Repton (Humphry) Papers
mssHM 40834-40959  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Humphry Repton papers
    Creator: Repton, Humphry, 1752-1818
    Identifier/Call Number: mssHM 40834-40959
    Physical Description: 4.6 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1746-1818
    Abstract: A collection of family and professional material relating to the English landscape gardener, architect, and author Humphry Repton.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Humphry Repton papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from Sotheby's, through the agency of Maggs Bros., March 1974.

    Biographical / Historical

    Humphry Repton (1752-1818) was one of England's leading landscape gardeners. Repton was born in Bury St. Edmonds, England, and was originally meant to become a merchant in the textile trade but he was not a success. He married Mary Clarke in 1773 and, together, they had four children. After the death of his parents in 1778, Repton moved the family to a small country estate at Sustead, Norfolk, to be near his sister Dorothy (Repton) Adey and her husband John Adey, a solicitor. While living in Norfolk, Repton was encouraged to study botany and gardening by a childhood friend, but with his capital dwindling, he moved to a cottage near Romford in Essex. At this time, Repton decided to combine his talented sketching skills with his limited horticulture knowledge and begin a career as a professional landscape gardener, a term he coined himself. To help clients visualize his designs, Repton produced 'Red Books' (so called for their binding) with explanatory text and watercolors with a system of overlays to show 'before' and 'after' views. Repton went on to become the most celebrated landscape garden designer of the eighteenth century.

    Scope and Contents

    A collection of approximately 250 items from 1746 to 1818, it consists of letters, documents, and ephemera which either directly or indirectly involve Humphry Repton. The papers mainly concern family, personal and legal matters rather than deal primarily with Repton's professional career as a landscape gardener. The collection includes legal correspondence of one of Repton's sons, William Repton, and family documents related to Dorothy Repton Adey, such as wills, marriage, and home settlements. There is also a family pedigree for the Paston family, a family with noble ties dating back to the 16th century, but the document lacks any distinguishing purpose in relation to the Reptons.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Sarah Green and Diana Pam, in August 2008. In 2020, Gayle Richardson created the electronic finding aid derived from the earlier finding aid.


    Arranged chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Landscape gardening -- Great Britain -- 18th century
    Landscape gardening -- History
    Royal Pavilion (Brighton, England)
    Great Britain -- History -- 18th century
    Great Britain -- History -- 19th century
    Ephemera -- Great Britain
    Family papers -- Great Britain
    Legal documents -- Great Britain
    Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain
    Adey, Dorothy Repton
    Repton, George Stanley
    Repton, William