The archive includes James Child's retrospective memoir and journal covering the period 1850s-1920s, during which time he worked as under-gardener at Claremont, Esher, then as head gardener at a series of private gardens in Surrey, Middlesex and Hertfordshire. He describes gardening practices and the gardens where he worked, commenting also on wider society, politics, Ireland, the Franco-Prussian War and the effects of the First World War. The archive also includes digital copies of photographs of James Child and his family, and the gardening diary of his son, William, compiled during the 1930s.
James and William Child: papers (catalogued)
Scope and Content
The archive includes electronic images of original photographs and of a trophy not held by the Lindley Library.
Conditions Governing Access
Open for consultation. Readers are asked to take care due to the fragile nature of the original material. It is essential to check opening hours and make an appointment.
Donated by Gill Cunningham, great-granddaughter of James Child, in 2012 and 2014. Item reference CHI/1/1/2 was donated by Frank Child in 1975.
Other Finding Aids
The Lindley Library descriptive catalogue, available on-line via the Archives Hub, and as a paper copy in the Research Room.
Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements
The memoir of James Child was written in an exercise book. The pages were completely separated from each other when the item was donated, the paper is brittle, and the item must be handled with the utmost care.
Catalogued by Liz Taylor, RHS Lindley Library archivist, in September 2014. Biographical history compiled by Jennian Geddes and research assistance provided by Ann Thornham, RHS Lindley Library volunteers.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright owned by the donor was assigned to the RHS.
The memoir and gardening diary have been in the possession of the Child family since their creation.
Location of Originals
The original photographs and trophy, electronic images of which are included in this archive, were in the possession of Gill Cunningham as at Sep 2014.