The renowned wicked Jimmy

“Brutal, course ,cruel and even sensual.’ Words used to describe Sir James Lowther

Whom in 1784 inherited the great Lonsdale Estates.  It was the one time editor of the Westmorland Gazette in the town of Kendal, one Thomas de Quincy who said the above about the new owner of Lowther Castle the Lord of Lonsdale in print. De Quincy lived near enough to know Sir James personally. He was famous himself, for his work, the best being the Opium Eaters.

He told Wordsworth the poet working as post office stamper that Sir James was ” A true Feudal Chieftain in both appearance and in deed,who took delight in exercising his disdain for modern refinement by haughty carelessness in his magnificence.

There are many tales of this high Lords mischief among the local traders but little reached the mighty Lord it seems.

Sir James Lowthers  downfall was his romantic nature and while he endured a terrible marriage ,she lucky to have escaped. He was smitten by the charm of young daughter of one of his farm tenants decided to marry her there and then. She however found her self his mistress only. he found that he had problems hiding the fact so had her paced in one of his house south of Cumberland. In fact in a manor house in Hampshire. She of law standing ran the house her way and servants became her friends. This suited not Sir James who often called on her on his journey to  the House of Lords in Parliament in London.


Sketch of Sir James Lowther at the time if investigation into girls body in his care. Are there ghosts in England well Lowther castle was Bell Book and Candled by churches who believed the story true


In research this arrangement suited both parties that is until the girls untimely death. Short illness of six days seems to point at poisoning but no charges and no investigation as no one knew she was there. It may have been something else that killed her as even Sir James was mortified at the news. He rode through to Hampshire four days later as horse riding is a slow way of travel and roads then in winter mud ridden and impassible ,in summer dust bowls. Bedsides he must have rode that horse hard to do a 490 mile journey in such time. May have changed horse on the way.Then records are not that deep.

However he would not allow the girls burial. He took her back to Lowther Castle and dressed her in ermine robes and sat the corpse at his dinner table as a dead guest.

This practice went on for weeks until bits dropped off the body as servants moved her chair to table one breakfast time. This decided they all had had quite enough and they collectively told Sir James he was mad, before leaving without notice.

So it was then he moved the body in a glass lidded case to his farm house in Maulds Meaburn village near Penrith  in the Eden River valley. Not far from his great castle he mourned his loves passing .

A local Vicar was shocked when he called to satisfy locals of what was going on. The stench of putrefying flesh had the vicar taken to his heels and vanished. The glass fronted casket containing her rotted remains was housed in a cupboard when the Government forces marched in .The body in the case was found and so Sir James had no choice but to agree to bury her.


images_107 Sir James.

He traveled  with the coach that she was carted in, to Londons Paddington Cemetery and Sir James moaned as she was lowered into the tomb he had paid for. He set a company of Cumberland Militia soldiers around the tomb on guard for several weeks.

After this he sank into fits of despair and depression and so returned home a month later to Lowther Castle miserable. He died in1802,unloved by all who had contact with him. His many servants his tenants and the House of lords.  Thomas de Quincy and the Church of England saw the coffin move from side to side and only with great difficulty was it lowered under ground. The legend began that same day when a coach and horses bolted and raced up the driveway to stop at the castle door a if by evil wish to return from his death the great Lord Lonsdale Earl of Lowther Sir James had indeed returned to his seat. As famous in death as he was infamous in life

Today the castle built by Scott the architect for lowther lays in decay .None would dare to live within it. I was shocked when I walked about its roofless rooms as in fact its twin castle was built in rural Herefordshire called  Eastnor castle around same time for a customer Scott must have raced the plans for Lowther  down to middle England and sold the plan twice. Today Eastnor is still a family home.




So mystery is why such a building as Lowther really was left to rot.It must have cost a fortune to build even in those days. The Lonsdale Lowthers family remain near by in equally  nice property but have never used Lowther Castle. Nor have they sold it. Well Jimmy was not at home when I made my visit inside what is now a ruin. Mind you it was a visit on a really sunny day when May sets her blossoms to impress the winter worn soul. Mine not Sir James soul. For that is quite another story.

God be with you all.

Yours Sir Kevin.

Kevin Parr Bt copyright Dec 2018





The tales of old men and fact today.

The Ark of the Covenant is a subject for many television historians on air today. Watching them amazes me with doubt. In Jerusalem museum some years ago a friend who ran it told me that the way scrolls were transported on tour from tent groups to tent group distant was in wooden boxes to fit a camels saddle. Wood is carved and in rich mans circles even gilded gold. Today not one exist owing to the very nature of wood, it rots.


Every year new boxes made by Arab and Jew sold even now to camel and donkey owners. If this is so and I do know it is having seen so much of  ancient trade being plied. Having rode a camel across the Sahara to El Gem site in Algeria and in Tunis area I know how wandering tribes existed.

Tales told of a golden ark that existed in Babylon in the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar 11 and held the ten commandments of Moses. Well! firstly Babylon is modern day Iraq so how did Moses work arrive there from Palestine or Egypt. Stone tablets must have broken the backs of poor camels. Or could it all be myth. A wooden box carved and gilded would not last a period of time until today. Yet so many say it did? Tablets in stone must have taken years for one man to relate the words of God. Why when even the invention of papyrus paper was know to Moses being born there. Could it only mean that the words of God so precious must be hammered in stone meaning ingrained in the mind forever from books. so we have a box of papers on our camels back now which is better for the poor camel too. What are they looking for these historians with little grey matter in the brain.? It was even said by just one man that is that he had seen wonders and when asked he told on the hanging gardens of Babylon. This fellow  was Philo and he hailed from Byzantium. In all the digs around that site no one can say a hanging terraced garden ever existed. Was Philo confused ,drunk or just a liar or did he see what he described as trees that did not grow in earth as grown in pots on someones balcony. As simple as that and if many balcony over hanging down a slope as houses went up it his sight was not impaired he just saw something he had never seen before. Man will always make gardens always invent new ways to make a garden.Even in a pot on a ledge but if you live not in a city but a spread of vast courtyard called Byzantium what chance did he have of learning hydroponics and pot plant culture.

In the 4th Century we have Plato, he told us of a land called Atlantis. A war on that land of plenty with Athens had the land sink in what is now the Atlantic Ocean.  Again only one mans view of the situation. No other known reports on Atlantis fate,or even existence. Yet all rush to find this mythical land as if all is as said and no imagination employed on Plato part.  As in Sir Thomas Moor account in his book Utopia it is what he dreamed to change a King from a monster to  fair ruler. It was a land he invented for a reason in that case. Plato was a play writer a man with power who wrote fiction in poetry could it be he wrote it in verse too. In all I have mentioned man is still searching hard to find what was never there before?

hans-holbein-the-younger-sir-thomas-more-1527-oil-on-oak_002 Sir Thomas Moore

I viewed a program on Ethiopia some time back that brought it all back to me. The story elastic as now that said Ark of the Covenant is back with us as the Ethiopian tale is on. They have the Ark in a mud hut building locked and guarded all the time.When asked why the BBC film crew could not film it a holy monk replied that the ark had so much power one glance at that light beams it threw out would blind you all and melt flesh from bone from your faces. Good line if you wanted to keep a secret. Nothing is inside that building but a whole  nation believes they have it. A wooden box from a camels back painted with gold leaf and some 3 thousand years old at least. Full of stone tablets in Moses carved letters.

My great grandfather who had made billions from 1840 with brick making factories and teams of horse wagon and builders using Parr bricks to build Englands Royal docks. He lived in a castle and he invented a way to keep away thieves. He lined the drive with trees of horsechestnut as his wive loved to see them in bloom.Bushes and gates and told all he met of the legend of a headless horseman who haunted the castle grounds. It worked so well he was never in danger and slept soundly ever night. I read his diary when I was around 17 and there it was in his own words.  So nothing starts a story better than that which we want to believe is true.

The land of Atlantis could be real as many lands have slipped into the sea and lost forever.The night that happened to Port Royal in the Annals of  Jamaica really did occur with the loss of thousands of human beings, buildings banks ships and city gone in under an hour all of it. It rid us  of many pirates though so nothing happens without a little gain for someone namely English Government. It had nothing to do with mankind it was land slide only without warning. So many be Atlantis did the same? Then it is strange that only one mans account exits.



Port Royal town that sank beneath the sea in a vast land slide without warning


hardly ever accept what I am told without stopping to think then research. If Im wrong I am man enough to say so but I hope my research brings enough doubt of tales to dispel as fiction not fact most of these legends like the big crazy today. The Knights Templar riches. Research brought up every penny they made as bankers as money lenders to Kings and as membership funding to the club. They did not dig up riches from under the city temples in Jerusalem and the did discover that Jesus did not die on  a cross. Later they even stopped belief that Jesus even existed. So as Philip King of Spain had no way of paying back is loan to Templar bank he started the story that finally finished the bank murdered the leaders persecuted the Knights and brought war upon them by all European Kings and holy Emperor little chance did they have to prove it all wrong.

What happened to the treasure .Well if one counts up all the outstanding loans to all the Royal debtors who murdered the lenders we have most of it accounted for. If investments in lands and buildings we know not of then someone made really sure they vanished into thin air. what they found after murder of Knights Templar burning them in Paris and Rome nothing was found in the Knights pockets saddlebags homes and banks. Not a simple trace of cash not a sniff of riches. They already had it all in loans unpaid. It is how the worlds Royalty made it rich. How 5the Vatican was built and how today we have banks.

parr_largeFrom the days of banking Templar family Parr bank last private bank on the British high street bought over as law changed to favour only National banking again stopped real banking exist. so they are still hounding the vestiges of the old order even today.

Hope you want to see more of this truth as to me it is worthy of lots of research as to which Royal had the biggest unpaid loans???

Yours will love Sir Kevin,

Kevin Parr Bt 2018 copyright



Time will not hide sins.

Certainly true in this amazing tale of detection. The victim lived some 689 years ago. One important mayor of Verona. Dead in 1329 no accusation of murder, buried and time forgot him. That is until now.


Cangrande Della Scala he was named became a great war Lord taking city after city into his empire until he took the city of Treviso and as the head minister handed over the city keys Cangrande fell ill and died aged 38. It was his own doctor that attended his last moments on earth and suggested Cangrande had that very morning drank water from a polluted stream.

Water was precious as malaria had accounted for many deaths and Verona was a place of dark river and many swallow hill streams under bridges ran into the towns. Here the tetzi flies bred into billions and no doubt Cangrande died of this according to his physician.

With Cangrandes corpse being wrapped his own nephew one Mastino 11 took control as his uncles bloodline and hanged the poor physician from the ceiling beam.

Mastino rose to greatness having all that his uncle had worked for and youth on his side for power. We need look no further if we suspect murder.

Now all of this may be of little news if not for an amazing discovery in 2017. A cemetery was being moved by clearance order to make space for housing. Cangrandes tomb was found and so began a real history detective case.

The bones carried to the Scientist lab and investigations discovered Digitalis in the bones and rotted remains came up with so much of this natural poison made from the plant called Foxglove. The full autopsy proved beyond doubt that Cangrande Della Scala had been murdered.

So over time we can point the finger at Mastino who for motive of greed and mighty power murdered his uncle by poisoning him with a common available Foxglove poison in his breakfast food.

cangrande-della-scalaFigure of Cangrande in Verona centre.

A carved image of the victim can be seen on his horse within  Verona today. The area of said city is named after him.  It took over 600 years to prove a murder took place and so my titled page relates to it as perhaps no one can escape justice. God himself knew all and so Mastino paid with his soul.  For us to find so much proof is due to the great advancement in medicine and science to be able to tell what a man ate in his life so long after nothing but bones remained is amazing.


Cangrande Della Scala remains.


Verona today and the church that holds Congrandes bones


Much the same was done on the bones of King Richard 111 in UK. They even knew he drank red wine with meals of fish , beef and shell fish. Just from a cross section on bone all is revealed of a mans life is the subject here told.

A mystery solved by modern science and historic record.

Yours with love .Sir Kevin.

Copyright Sir Kevin James Parr Bt  December 9th 2018




For many of us are born to have feelings about  this date. I Think it just another day but is it really something different? Here I take facts and dates in time that may show how this date became a problem day for so many  across this world.

The Knights of the Temple know as Templar in history became the most powerful society of men ever know. How did poor Knights in monks clothing become so rich and feared that they became hounded by Kings.?

In short no treasure was found in the city of Jerusalem as Rome had cleared out all riches long before in time.We know as carvings exist in Rome to this day showing the looting by soldiers of the holy temple and the Jewish gold carried with 9 candle Menorah across to carts that transported it all back to Rome.

This sect of holy men made Knights was started to rescue fallen fellow knights on the battlefields. The famous statue in London depicts two knights on one horse. It was that fact that made the legend. When many rich sons of Yore came to join the fellowship the gift of cash was handed over to Templar. They worked on protecting pilgrims traveling to see the holy city along the route from the sea at Acre.  Over years this service became famous and with membership growing the cash flow was put into banking and Knights became money lenders to Kings. It was the first method of real banking in the world. It can be researched but every penny of Knights Templar rich accounts can be traced to the above methods and no treasure ever existed. Banking alone made the society rich and really powerful with it. They did nor excavate under the temple searching for treasures and they did find evidence that Jesus did not exist. This made them the enemy of some and friends to others.


Jacques de Moley                           Knights Templar

When King Phillip 4th of France borrowed so much he could not pay it back he decided on bring the Templar to heal. He had men circulate and spread stories of witchcraft and Devil worship that had been the Knights Templar way for years.They even performed homo sexual orgies and worshiped a cat who was the Devil incarnate. Soon the Knights became hunted down and in chains and ropes led to the fires of death to satisfy the cruel.images_004    images_016

Pope Clement.                King Phillip

On Friday 13th 1307 a large group of Templar Knights died by sword in European nations on advice of Pope Clement  5th through the lies given in statement by King Phillip 4th.of France


Strange it is that both Pope and King  died within weeks of Templar deaths and the curse said to be placed by Moley on his accusers who had tortured him to give false statement.

The Knights of Saint John or Knights of the Temple ended that day and all found put to the sword .Sad but true they as innocent of any charge and died through King Phillips greed.

It ended on October 13th 1314 when the 23rd Grand Master the 70 year old Jacques de Moley was with other high command Knights burned at the stake in Paris France. He is said to have cursed each man who had accused his order of so many crimes including Heresy which caused his death by fire. Seems the curse worked as both Pope and king died suddenly. Then did he really say anything?

Now the story of Friday 13th again but it is goes back into Viking legend. Friday is named after Goddess Freya who being gifted two black cats by Thor the God of thunder  ruled fertility.


Then 12 Norse Gods sat feasting at the table in halls of Valhalla when in came the uninvited Loki who had come to assist the blind God Hoder Lord of Darkness to kill Balder the beautiful God of joy.


Freya the Goddess

Odin the mighty had loved this son and had decreed no one touch him. Loki the Frost Giant  adopted son to Odin was the 13th member at that table.


Loki played by an actor in TV film Thor the Mighty

It was said that the Goddess of womanhood had 13 menstruation  in a year which was unlucky for her lovers. The Spartans give us a name for this as Triskaidekaphobia  or fear on number 13. It was Judas in Pauls tale of  Jesus.


Friday being the 6th day of week is associated with the Devil as 6 is the number of the beast 666 in Biblical law.

in Rome Friday was the hanging day event enjoyed by the onlooker but no joy for the criminal. This rule carried on in England until hanging was banned as punishment in 1965 in England 1974 in Northern Ireland. No death penalty but life time jail on the public funds.

The story of the last supper tells of Judas being number 13 at that table and so all follows as fact Friday 13th is to some the worse day ever invented.  Depends really if one believes myth and legend is real or again man made stories. Maybe King Phillip 4th wanted that day when he set about his attacks on innocent Knights about their service and business. Banking may be a bit of a golden goose even today for the vast industry of that profession who know how to make cash out of lending investing your moneys and giving you back less that 1% of the cash you loan to them each time you place funds in your account. My family had the largest private bank in UK called Parr Bank ltd it ran with some 8 offices nationwide and sold out when private banking was made illegal in 1958. Sold to Matins bank who became Barclays bank. Maybe Knights Templar blood runs in my veins as banking goes back to them direct. it would then explain why 1231 is the last recorded date on my family records. After that total blank going backwards in time.

Friday 13th is but a day and nothing more sinister exists other than in the mind of mankind through superstitions that go back to the cave man when no education existed only knowledge of fear. Still if you are stuck on this better read all you can and leave an open mind is best advice dear friends.

Go with God and be happy all your days.

Yours Sir Kevin

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2018

Walter OBrien and Scorpion facts.

When thinking of a subject to interest my readers I have to research well. Here in this article my girlfriend pointed out a show as being good but very over the top in telling. I watched it and found they boast beyond the TV show that Mister Walter OBrien  has an IQ of 197, higher than even the list of top brains published on Goggle. A quick look show all Mensa and recorded tested named persons with highest IQ. No Walter OBrien is listed in the top 100 or lower. This brought me to examine the man himself. His part now played by actor Elyes Gabel in the TV production. They say all is based on the life of said Walter Obrien. So off I went investigating this story. I found that part one is mostly correct. When Obrien was 13 living on his father, Maurice his mother Anne OBriens, farm in  Clonroche Ireland he hacked into USA government security program. This ended in investigation by CIA Homeland and black cars with armed men landed in the front of the  family farmhouse to see a boy who had by accident broken through to see secret plans of space race. Just as told at start of every Scorpion show on TV.


Then from here on  little fact is used to make that show. No doubt CBS are only concerned with the show figures and all else matters not. Then we find that Walter OBrien wrote the stories and then as he was Execute Producer made the show possible.

Checking his job CV shows he was working for Capital group of companies as top man but a little research throws up fact that Capital job description gives Walter OBrien as simple Q/A guy. His pay scale low.

.  One of five children he left Ireland early to find that America was not paved with gold as told local to his dads farm. He invented himself as AKA. Scorpion and started a company called “Stikeforce “This is listed on the web. Then it seems to have used the same UP as another company used. He set off promoting international data but it is gibberish and big claims. It seems his claims somehow are completely exaggerated to being laughable.


English actor Elyes Gabel  and the real Walter OBrien

For me and those who brought this to my attention the show is passable if only they would drop the claims about his big IQ and the myth behind his life. They should pass it over as fiction only as they cannot support the claims. Then CBS know this but wants the viewing figures too. I myself am fine with watching but knowing now all facts I try not to laugh at some of the amazing escapes the team make and how an old actor playing the Homelands agent who played gun toting cowboys long ago in time still has it in in him to go down holes tunnels and dangerous places as if real life. Then what if  I told you that a  high IQ has little to do with intelligence. I find that IQ can alter each time tested.Depends on mood, day, and who is doing the test.

It will not alter much but enough to make that test of interest. Mine came out at 154 then that surprised me as  taken the Mensa test placed me as 109 I am nothing of a Math student hating figures but can count in my head. I do nothing more than any other may do but can design anything like gardens furniture and tools. Hobby only but love my gardens. Having a high IQ means precious little as actions speak far louder and love of live is more than all.  To love someone more than yourself must be wonderful but having it thrown back in ones face is destroying. Perhaps why high IQ becomes a loner. Seeing logic only there is no such thing as love .Then that is not me. Yet I deal in logic. Talking of myself is not my aim here just to illustrate my feelings over that of show by OBrien in the show.

Checking all I am able to do I know the subject runs a computer company for a living that he claims cannot be researched owing to military law and very secret customers? He employs over 200 people and deals with problems is all that is published on him. One is left struggling with rubbish in his writings total confusing sentences tell you not a lot even if you can find interest to read what is printed. He may be the solver of big world problems but it is hard to go from typist to action man never mind death cheaters as portrayed on screen. I say it is total myth.

It is beyond human safety and so many escapes are unbelievable. Not a cat can cope with the boasts. Even down to being held by drug baron who would have shot first and asked no question they manage to over power all of his men. Man, that is beyond imagined belief. I think a child who shone out faded fast in adulthood so he merely invented himself it seems. How he manged to help produce the show may relate to him being in an advisory position only as it was all about his fictitious  life anyway. Then he states he is an Executive Producer? The only mystery is who is the real Walter OBrien? The kid who entered into hacking or the adult who deals in fiction?

There is the question that rises over the International Olympiad test that  Ireland failed to enter yet OBrien aged 18 came in 90th out of 120. He is listed yet never says a word on this subject. How he even got to be there is strange but he did and that is shown as said.

So watch the show enjoy and know that all is fiction and you cant go wrong.

Thank you yet again my readers hope you want to read my next article as that stands even more to mystery.

Yours, sent with love to all Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2018.


Skeletons Down the Well Mystery

Norwich East Anglia England 1330. What ever happened to 17 people who either fell or were pushed down a 20 foot drop into mud in the bottom of a water well, is case for inspection, I thought.


It all came to light in a conversation with a friend in that area of country who had read in a local newspaper of a bodies being found when a building company had started work on that cities new shopping Mall and came across shocking pile of bones in the wall in excavation of site. It certainly brought me down to see him. It was perhaps 2004 looking at my diary.

It was explained to us as a case of disrespectful disposing of bodies that now the bones had been cataloged and sent over for forensic tests and carbon dating. The head Anthropologist was Miss Susan Black down from Dundee University .We expected fast work and result.



Over a day or so the results came back and we had luck as one of the news chaps was in the know. 12th or early 13th century people.It looked as simple as plague victims but then hit by forensics it was now upturned from mere carbon dating to the bones belonging to Jews.  Not just that but one family of Jews. 17 of them in fact and all related. It is now thought that that period of history in England had not been kind to Jews and many had been persecuted owing to the belief that they had sold Jesus to Rome. What rubbish but Christians were not all cleaver folk and so hatred had grown of the Jews as good traders rich and able ran together and not always trusted anyone outside of that group . It was to go against them at times like that.

However the morning air ran through me and oaks donned golden gowns and homeward I drove some 500 miles up the motorways. On switching on the radio I tuned in to local BBC radio four and heard the talk .It was on the bodies found and told all that I knew but one thing came as shock .It was by picking through the clues that the team had come to see the bones as that of victims to mass execution or even  group suicide.

It gave a whole different slant of things indeed. So picturing later the story on the slim facts in hand it seems they either sat around and been terrified enough to end it all. Or more likely,to me , a group of hardened commoners had caught them hiding and bashed in their brains with cudgels the tool of the common folk then.  By throwing the dead down the nearby well no trace could be brought back to find the killers.



Two of the skulls as the faces must have been. People not just bones.

A sad tale my dears but one that must echo through all the centuries of lack of education .Human envy and killer instinct of the poor and classless. Many of them hungered and seeing fat Jews well fed must have enraged them. In a gang it only takes one loud mouthed lout to bring the rest to the boil then, bang, its death on their hands before they cool down and see what they have done. Then its panic and down the well is but the perfect place to hide the dead. The gang  vanish one by one into the night. it is how gangs work even today with far better food more off it and some basic education nothing really changes human anger and some will stop  at nothing until its too late.


The bones being buried.

I did try tracing the story of bones but seems case is closed so we are left with that image of the last moments of a family being murdered by many members of a gang . Im glad I see religion as man made poison as no good in history has it ever done. Jews or Christian we are people not animals at all. I could go on, but perhaps said enough for some already. I believe I am Gods child and we are all his children every single one of us have souls we are as one in his holy mind. It is that that stops wars stops worry such as terrified of death. it stops the educated from ever thinking about murder only solving it. Gods family even those poor slaughtered Jewish people. I bet they died not well and that my friends upsets me even so. it is mankind who are  cruel, not God. Remember that.

On 16th of February 2015 at Chapel Fields Shopping Centre in that city of Norwich a plaque was put up by dignified people to commemorate the bones and the people who had been murdered by the mob. It is worded rather movingly Im told but tells the tale as I saw it in mind. The bones have been respectfully buried in Norwich Jewish cemetery with honours.


With all the love in my heart my family I wish us all peace and safety ,where ever you are ,who ever you think you are we are brothers and sisters in the wind of change. Respect is all you need.

Yours Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2018

Mystery in a garden world known.

In 1900 a group of American people started a fashion in England for being  happy in a world so lost until then. To this group Mrs Gertrude Winthrop sent her only son from her last marriage to search for a home in England. He left from New York around early 1900 on a mission for his aged mother. His name was Lawrence Waterbury Johnston and this is his story.


In Gloustershire not far from old old market town of Chipping Campden and within the area of the Cotswold group of Americans he sighted Hidcote Manor house for sale. It fitted his every need. Soon he was writing to to his mother with the news. She came over to view still nervous to be in England some 200 years after her ancestor had left the shores to find work in New England USA. They bought the manor house and some farm lands around it for 6000 pounds sterling.


images_005 One of the very few photographs of Major Lawrence Johnston.




His mother had no real intent to spend on gardens but she was happy her son wanted to clean up the land. She found her niche with other Americans in coffee house morning meetings to fill her days.

images_018  Edith Wharton writer gardener and  heiress attached to Major Lawrence Johnston from day of meeting to her death as friends. His health failing after her death he may have stayed in France to be warmer or did he come  to find he loved Edith so much he could not cope. He had been born in Paris and that another reason for leaving his lovely garden that people such as I take ideas from. Hidcote is perhaps the greatest garden ever built in my mind , at least.


In 1902 Lawrence Johnston did read many gardening books starting a life times love of the subject. He may have planed it many times on paper but nothing of it exists today. Then he came across a book all about designing gardens .it spoke to his soul more so that Lutchens and Jeakle had done.The book by Thomas Mawson who had owned Lakeland Nurseries in Windermere far north of Gloucester but had designed some of the most prestigious gardens around the world. Johnstons dream of Hidcote gardens came out of the pages of this book. I bought a copy of it and at high cost I treasure it.



In 1907 he enlisted in the Hussars to help Britain in the Boar War of South Africa.For 4 years Hidcote was neglected by all.

In 1910 returned as Major and put his all into the gardens


employing 12 gardeners as his team to create his dream. By 1920 it was in its perfect way. All the top brass came to see it even Churchill thrilled at his many visits. Although Lawrence Johnston was a very private living man he must have liked what people said of his designs.

The first World war came and he was again  called up to fight for England. In this hell he found a friend who he treasured .Her name was Edith Wharton a lady who loved France and warmer days but was trapped in Paris in war torn Europe. Johnston was posted to that area and found her wandering about deep in thought.The two came so close and lived for moments to be together. It was not real deep love but a real friendship that lasted to her death in 1937. She had planed with him some of the garden rooms at Hidcote although she lived in France they stayed in each others homes regularly between wars. Her death fell heavily on Johnston and maybe that is why he went to life in France at his mothers old home called Serre de la Madone near Menton.


My though when seeing this run down gardens on a trip to buy statues for my gardens brought me to ask questions. It was open to the public but still in a shabby state of general neglect .I roamed around it wondering what drove this great man to leave Hidcote Bartrim village and his beloved Hidcote manor gardens for this baked earth and no hedges. It was almost tearful to see it. Yes may have been nice after it was first made made but what it was did  not stood out clearly.It was nothing as good as Hidcote even in its hey day.


Something must have happened for him to walk out of his dream to leave it to Government in the form of National Trust and come to reside in this unearthly place just like that. I cant help feeling if I had built Hidcote would  I want anything better than my tomb there. He is buried near  his mother in England just a walk from those garden gates he had paid for as his. He gave this French property to his servants who had helped him so well in illness in his last six months on earth. He was a kind soul for all that.






And that is my mystery. Why want another garden why did he want France. Was it the love of his life had he only asked for her hand. This private hero this great man was he not so brave with love. When his Edith died did it finish him inside? Was his last beat of heart more of her than anything he had ever done. If so I understand it all. His name will live forever in the work he did on Hidcote Gardens and perhaps his ghost and hers remain within the many rooms they both designed.

images_003 Major Lawrence Johnston in his last years


Hidcote gardens are in short, heaven on earth a place to be within to find peace, beyond that world of war and of men so mad as to want war.

Yours with love, Sir Kevin.


Copyright Sir Kevin Parr Bt 2018