William Andrews Nesfield was born in Durham; the son of rector. He was educated at Winchester, Trinity College Cambridge and Woolwich, before serving in the Peninsular Wars under the Duke of Wellington. He retired from the army in 1816 and began a career as a landscape painter, making tours to the Alps in 1822/23 and to Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire, Northumbria and Ireland in 1841. From 1842 he lived near Regent's Park. Initially combining painting with landscape gardening, he eventually relinquished his work as an artist. From 1836, he produced garden designs for over 260 estates, including redesigning the arboretum and several arbors and vistas at Kew Gardens in 1844, and designing the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society in 1860.
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