George II

George II was a British monarch who ruled Great Britain and Ireland for nearly half a century. He was the eldest son of King George I and Queen Mary and was also the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. His reign lasted from 11 June 1727 until 1760.

George II

Charles Bridgeman designed the vast extension of the gardens into Hyde Park

One of the greatest contributions of the eighteenth century to art is the English Landscape Garden. The creation of this garden is linked to the careers of three landscape gardeners: James Kent, Robert Adam and Charles Bridgeman. Of the three, Charles Bridgeman remains the least understood, despite many of his plans and drawings being still preserved. Charles Bridgeman was born c.1690 and was probably the son of a gardener. He became the royal gardener to Queen Anne and had responsibility for the gardens. He worked with Kent on some of the major gardens, lending his knowledge of plants and flowers to realize his architectural vision.

The new gardens were designed around Kensington Palace and the Round Pond. From these two points, avenues of trees radiated outward, giving various views of the palace and the classical buildings. The gardens were separated from Hyde Park by a ditch called the Ha-ha.

After Bridgeman’s death in 1738, William Kent was appointed as gardener. Kent transformed the garden’s landscape, and began a new type of garden. The new garden was arranged around picturesque landscapes, and included an Italianate style Palladian bridge. Other buildings he designed included the Temple of Venus, which resembled a Palladian villa. In addition, he restored the famous Rubens ceiling in the Banqueting House.

Bridgeman also worked for the Prince and Princess Caroline, and had been appointed royal gardener for the future George II. After his death in 1738, Bridgeman’s widow, Sarah, struggled to collect the money that was owed to her husband.

William Kent redecorated the Rubens ceiling in the Banqueting House

The Banqueting House is the only surviving building of Whitehall Palace, the royal residence in London from 1530 to 1698. It was also where King Charles I was executed for treason. He had his head cut off outside the building.

William Kent was ninth Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin

William Kent was appointed ninth Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin in 2008. He has led the College’s research in medicinal chemistry since his appointment in 2008. His research group applies a strong synthetic and interdisciplinary approach. He has published more than forty peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals. His work has attracted research funding from the Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. In addition, he has secured funding from direct industry sources.