Shakespeare bought his house, New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1597 but did not take up residence until 1610. Tradition has it that he planted a mulberry tree in 1609 when King James I imported many thousands of trees from the Continent to feed silkworms for the English silk industry. The tree is said to have survived until the mid 18th century when it was cut down on the orders of the Rev. Francis Gastrell, either because he was annoyed by sightseers wishing to view the tree, or to reduce the tax he had to pay on the property. From this time many curios and objects said to have been made from wood from the famous mulberry tree were produced.