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A gardener who worked at Mount Vernon from the spring of 1773 until 1789, Philip Bateman first appears in Washington's financial papers in an entry dated March 15, 1773. The notation notes the payment of six pounds, sixteen shillings and nine pence, to a Franklin Syms for "bring my Gardr. P. Bateman from Leeds."
Five days later, Washington wrote a letter to a relative, John Washington, to "thank you for the trouble you have had in purchasing a Gardener for me—the Man promises fair, & I hope will answer, tho chance too often directs in things of this sort." In a letter written to his brother-in-law Fielding Lewis, Washington explained that a bill for thirty-five pounds might be coming in for him "(or you in my stead)" from a Mr. Hodge "for a Servant (Gardner) bought of him." That bill was paid in May of 1773.1
In October 1783, Lund Washington wrote of Bateman that, "As to Bateman (the old gardener) I have no expectation of his ever seeking Another home—indulge him but in getg Drunk now and then, and he will be happy—he is the best Kitchen gardener to be met with." In March of 1786, Bateman was paid twenty pounds as "a years Wages to Date."2
2. "Lund Washington to George Washington, 1 October 1783," The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, Vol. 9, 202n; See entry for "8 March 1786, Phillup Bateman…Dr….Cr.," Lund Washington Account Book (Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon Ladies' Association), 154.