Autograph Letter Signed ('D. J. Scourfield') from the biologist and microscopist David Joseph Scourfield to 'Dr. Crow' [William Bernard Crow], describing a 'living specimen from Eagle Pond, Epping Forest, of a species of Volvox'.

David Joseph Scourfield (1866-1949), ISO, FLS, FZS, FRMS, biologist and microscopist [Dr William Bernard Crow (1895-1976), biologist and occultist]
Publication details: 
63 Queen's Road, Leytonstone, E11. 26 September 1927.
SKU: 12817

3pp., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper, on two leaves pinned together. He begins: 'I am sending herewith living specimens from Eagle Pond, Epping Forest, of a species of Volvox without protoplasmic connections between the cells. If you have not had it before you will no doubt be interested. If you have, I should be glad if you could tell me what you think it ought to be called. It is evidently close, if not identical, with V. Monona Gilb. Smith recorded by Pearsall as British from the Lake Dist. But it may also be V. tertius Meyer (cf. Süsswasserflora-Volvocalas).' He continues to describe the colony, and poses questions. 'I have written to Professor Fritsch about these specimens, but do not know if he is home again or not.' He ends with a brief description of a discovery made while on holiday in Pembrokeshire, before thanking Crow for 'the last three reprint [...] I am sending a copy of my Presidential Address to the Essex Field Club last March.' A postscript relates to a paper drawn up 'in connection with a talk to the Biological Section of the R.M.S.' Scourfield was employed at the Royal Mint for 42 years, and his obituary in the Proceedings of the Linnean Society predicted that he would 'take a high place' among 'the many amateur microscopists who have made notable contributions to biological science'. In 2002 Scourfield was praised by Professor Robert G. Wetzel for 'an outstanding and almost universally neglected' example of his scholarship.