[Henry Doubleday, pioneering Quaker horticulturalist of Coggeshall in Essex.] Five Autograph Letters Signed to the entomologist Bernard Piffard, discussing various topics in natural history, common acquaintances and personal news.

Henry Doubleday (1810-1902), pioneering Quaker horticulturist of Coggeshall in Essex [Bernard Piffard (1833-1916), entomologist]
Publication details: 
Between 1860 and 1874. All from Epping [Essex].
SKU: 25475

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. From the Piffard papers. A total of 10pp, 12mo. Aged and worn, with the first letter on creased grey paper, the second with one leading edge rolling inwards, and the last with a 2cm closed tear; but with text clear and entire. The recipient named as ‘B. Piffard Esq’. All signed ‘Henry Doubleday’. ONE: 14 July 1860. 2pp, 12mo. With reference to an excursion by Piffard to Maldon, and also stating that he ‘took a very fine female Deilephila Galei in our garden on Wednesday - it was at rest on a strawberry plant’. TWO: 7 March 1890. 1p, 12mo. He is ‘unacquainted with the little plant’ sent by Piffard, and suggests he send it to ‘Dr Hooker of Kew’, who ‘would be able to name it’, or ‘Mr Moore the Editor of the Gardeners Chronicle - shall I send the specimen to one of them or return it to you?’ THREE: 2 August 1873. 3pp, 12mo. Beginning with a page-long list of lilies ‘which are growing in the garden’, before devoting a paragraph each to three species. Continues: ‘Mr Baker of Kew Gardens was here lst week and he said he has never before seen auratium so fine in the open ground as it is here. I planted the bulbs seven inches deep with a good layer of [road sand?]’. FOUR: 4 September 1873. 1p, 12mo. Begins: ‘I have great pleasure in sending you some seed of the new pink variety of the Canterbury Bell - / We had some very heavy thunderstorms here last week. one came up on the Sunday night and lasted four or five hours - the rain was the heaviest that I remember - several trees were struck by the lightning - two in John Henry Smee’s grounds opposite Epping Place’. FIVE: 25 June 1874. 3pp, 12mo. He does not recognise the ‘piece of a plant’ Piffard has sent him, and suggests he forward it to ‘J. G. Baker Esq / Herbarium / Royal Gardens / Kew’. He discusses how it is ‘a very unfavourable Season for gardens’. ‘Mr Pearson, a gentleman who resides here, went to Mr Ware’s Nursery at Tottenham last week and he told me that his lilies are a complete failure this year, nearly all the flower-buds having chopped off’. He describes in great detail an injury he sustained to his leg, concluding that ‘the ulcer is now healed and I can get about pretty well’.