Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 The Mulberry Garden


Upon the site of which is built the northern portion of Buckingham Palace, was planted by order of James I., in 1609, and in the next two reigns became a public garden. Evelyn describes it in 1654 as "ye only place of refreshment about ye towne for persons of ye best quality to be exceedingly cheated at;" and Pepys refers to it as "a silly place," but with "a wilderness somewhat pretty." It is a favourite locality in the gay comedies of Charles II.'s reign.

Dryden frequented the Mulberry Garden; and according to a contemporary, the poet ate tarts there with Mrs. Anne Reeve, his mistress. The company sat in arbours, and were regaled with cheesecakes, syllabubs, and sweetened wine; wine-and-water at dinner, and a dish of tea afterwards. Sometimes the ladies wore masks. "The country ladys, for the first month, take up their places in the Mulberry Garden as early as a citizen's wife at a new play."—Sir Charles Sedley's Mulberry Garden, 1668.

"A princely palace on that space does rise,

Where Sedley's noble muse found mulberries."—Dr. King.

Upon the above part of the garden site was built Goring House, let to the Earl of Arlington in 1666, and thence named Arlington House: in this year the Earl brought from Holland, for 60s., the first pound of tea received in England; so that, in all probability, the first cup of tea made in England was drunk upon the site of Buckingham Palace.

John Timbs
Club Life of London Vol. II
London, 1866