Staggering life of the ‘busiest man in England’

chatsworth, sir joseph paxton, joseph paxton, magazines derbyshire, reflections magazine,

From gardener to architect, businessman to politician – Sir Joseph Paxton typified the Victorian self-made man. Fiona Stubbs examines the life of one of Derbyshire’s most famous adopted sons.

IN the early hours of May 9, 1826, a young man stepped down from the ‘Comet’ stagecoach he had taken from London and strode out of Chesterfield across the moors to Chatsworth. Joseph Paxton, still just 22, was about to begin a new life as head gardener at one of the grandest estates in England…