English nurseryman and garden-designer. In c.1687 he joined George London at his Brompton Nursery, becoming his partner by 1694. He carried out works at Hampton Court Palace (1689–92— probably based on designs by Marot), and in 1702 was appointed Royal Gardener to Queen Anne (reigned 1702–14), in which capacity he improved St James's Park with new avenues of limes, and widened the canal. From 1705 to 1716 he worked on the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Oxon., with Vanbrugh, and designed the gardens at Melbourne Hall, Derbys. (1704–6—where the French influence is clear). He employed a Franco-Dutch style incorporating parterres, basins, canals, mazes, and straight avenues, and was still actively working on royal parks and gardens until 1727 when his pupil Bridgeman succeeded him. Switzer was another able pupil, and, like Bridgeman, an early protagonist of the C18 English style of landscape gardening. With London he published The Compleat Gard'ner (1699—an abridged translation of Evelyn's translation from the French of de la Quintinie's Instructions pour les jardins fruitiers et potages (1690) ) and The Retir'd Gard'ner (1706—translations of F. Gentil's Le jardinier solitaire (1704) and L. Liger's Le jardinier fleuriste et histiographe (also 1704) ).
D&E (1994);D. Green (1951, 1956);J. Harvey (1974)