James Boswell

James Boswell was a companion and biographer of Dr Johnson and visited Ashbourne with him when Johnson stayed at The Mansion. Boswell stayed at The Green Man.

James Boswell, companion and biographer of Dr Johnson, stayed at The Green Man during their visits to Ashbourne.  When Boswell and Johnson were collected from Lichfield to stay with Taylor in March 1776, they were transported by ”Dr Taylor’s large, roomy post-chaise, drawn by four stout, plump horses, and driven by two steady jolly postilions”.

Boswell had a keen eye for members of the opposite sex but was not impressed by the female servants at The Mansion, where Dr Johnson’s friend Dr Taylor lived, writing in his diary “none of the Dr’s maids were handsome and so I had no incitements to amorous desires”.   Boswell was more impressed with the landlady at The Green Man, a Mrs Killingley, who he described as “a civil woman who curtseyed very low”

One of the largest and most imposing gentleman’s town house in Georgian Ashbourne. Originally built in the 1680s and improved to the latest Georgian fashions (partly by Joseph Pickford) in the second half of the 18th Century.

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The Green Man was built in the 1750s to service the growing coaching trade in Ashbourne. It had a “drive through” design with a central entrance for coaches and an exit onto neighbouring Dig Street.

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Dr Taylor had a love of conspicuous consumption and ostentatious display.

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