John Locke to

Mary Clarke

London 7th February 1685


... But if once I get into possession of my apartment, as you are so kindly pleased to call it, can anybody tell whether it well be easy to get me out again? The pleasures of the place and the agreeableness of the conversation may, for belly-full of wandering, that he may not probably go out of it. This I can assure you, that if it be a pleasure to be with those one extremely loves and values, I could not be so happy anywhere as at Chipley when you and Mr Clarke are there with your little ones. I have never seen a house that I have liked better and that in all respects I have thought so prudently built and suited to all purposes. You make no show of it and you do good offices when you seemed but to compliment. For it is you, I find, who by magnifying the turnips to that degree have raised them above lime and abele1 trees, and when Mr Clarke had reason to reproach me for this sort of plantation for walks, 'twas an obliging artifice to stop his mouth with turnips. This deserves that I should at least (supply) your garden with such kind of furniture. I have therefore provided you another parcel of seeds of turnips and other roots of this country. If they come safe they are ten sorts of them. Sarsafras is a root lately come into use. It is very pleasant and very wholesome, and your gardener2 may also succeed with it and set your neighbours mouth a watering after them too.

John Locke
  1. Abele - white poplar.

  2. Edward's chief gardener was John Barber, whom he seems to have shared with Sir Walter over the next twenty-five years.