Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The famous Hidcote Gardens in England were created and owned by an American man named Lawrence Johnston. At an elderly age and with a failing mind, he transferred the gardens to the country's National Trust.
The National Trust’s unofficial secretary, James Lees-Milne, recalls the tense moment of transfer in his diaries. In a downstairs room at Hidcote the “conspirators”, Sybil Colefax and himself, held their breath as Johnston held the pen poised and a shadow crossed his face. They felt unable to rely on Johnston’s failing memory and so they told him that the crucial document before him was one of lesser importance. He signed and the trust acquired its first garden.
Robin Lane Fox, A Living Legacy, Financial Times, July 24, 2009.
Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.