Susan Beever (1805-1893) of Thwaite, Coniston, a close friend and neighbour at Brantwood of John Ruskin
[ Thwaite, Coniston. ] 'Thursday'. [ Dated in a contemporary hand 'June 1892.' ]
2pp., 12mo. Bifolium on grey paper. In good condition, lightly aged. She hopes that the coming Saturday will be fine: 'If not, I hope some other day - but how cold again - For the first time I went out into the garden yesterday - & to my joy & amazement heard a Chaffinch sing! I had not hoped to hear a Bird.' She is glad they are all happy, and that they found the plant (Latin name) that 'grows at Coniston'.
The table or bloom calendar is in a makeshift table, ruled out in pencil over 2pp., folio. It is in poor condition, heavily-aged, divided into two sections along central horizontal fold line, and with slight loss to text from chipping.
James Lothian (1817-1871), Scottish gardener, author of the first English book on the cultivation of Alpine plants [ Daniel McTaggart [ Mactaggart ] of Kilkerran, Argyll, Scotland
No place. 19 June 1854.
2pp., 16mo. Bifolium. Addressed on reverse of second leaf to 'Daniel McTaggart Esq: of Kilkeran [sic]'. In fair condition, on lightly aged paper. He is sending him 'Keith' (i.e. a book by George Skene Keith), which contains 'some facts bearing on the Potatoe question'. He has other works on the same matter, but they are 'out', with the exception of 'Vol: 2 of the Gardener which I send down'. In his opinion 'Works on Forrest [sic] trees and Landscape Gardening throw no light on either disease or Longivity [sic] of Plants.
William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire, peer, courtier and Whig politician
Lismore Castle, 7 Sept. 1812.
One page, cr.8vo, faint staining (foxing?) but text clear and complete. "the Duke of Devonshire has only today received Mr Wards letter cponcerning the box at Drury Lane. Mr Heaton [his agent] Old Burlington St will transact the business with the committee upon this letter being shown to him." He succeeded to the title on the death of his father in 1811.
Thomas Bunyard & Sons, The Nurseries, Maidstone, Kent, Victorian 'Nurserymen, Seedsmen and Florists' [Rev. Charles William Shepherd (1838-1920) of Trotterscliffe, near Maidstone, Kent, naturalist]
18 February 1869; on letterhead of The Nurseries, Maidstone [Kent].
12mo, 2 pp. Bifolium. With two pages of lists of plants by Shepherd. Good, on aged paper. In remains of original envelope. The letterhead advertises that the firm also has a branch at Ashford. Begins: 'We can supply you with the shrubs &c you kindly enquire about at the Prices named on other side - your orders for which will have our careful attention'. Three are marked with a cross, being 'very critical trees to move' for which the firm 'can undertake no responsibility as to their success'. Prices given for fifteen types, from 'Spruce Trees - 4 ft.
[London?] Circa 1953. A. E. Simpson & Sons, Printers, Mildenhall.
12mo, 4 pp. Bifolium. Text clear and complete. Fair, on lightly-aged paper. Begins: 'THE object of this leaflet is to draw the attention of Asparagus Growers to some facts regarding the Asparagus plant's 'way of Life' which the close study and observation necessary to successful pedigree breeding of a definite strain have taught me.' Kidner is described as 'Author of "ASPARAGUS" (Faber & Faber)', with the announcement that 'KIDNER'S PEDIGREE STRAIN has been given an Award of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1953.' No copy on COPAC or in the British Museum.
George Child-Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey (1773-1859), husband of the political hostess Sarah Sophia Child-Villiers [née Lady Sarah Sophia Fane], Countess of Jersey (1785-1867) [Hampton Court Palace]
24 March 1842; Berkeley Square, London.
12mo, 2 pp. Bifolium. Twenty-one lines. Text clear and complete. On discoloured paper. Begins 'I think if you go into The Park at Hampton Court you will easily satisfy yourself that I am justified in withholding my consent to its being stript of its turf'. He considers that 'positive injury [will be] done to the Pasture', and as 'it is expected that we should maintain Deer to the number of 500. or more & that we endeavour to obtain from the feeding of Cattle some portion of the rent payable to Lady Bloomfield', consent cannot be given 'to diminish the food in the Park'.
Lady Dorothy Nevill [Lady Dorothy Fanny Nevill, née Walpole] (1826-1913), hostess and horticulturist
Friday 18th' [no date]; on embossed letterhead of Dangstein, Petersfield.
12mo: 1 p. 8 lines of text. On aged paper somewhat grubby around signature at foot. Asks when he will be 'able to come to us to meet the d[uke] of Wellington'. They are 'at liberty any time between the 4th and 11th of January'.
Juliette Huxley [Lady Marie Juliette Baillot] (1896-1994), wife of the English scientist Julian Huxley (1887-1975) [Frank Richard Cowell]
Letter, 27 January 1966; on letterhead 31, Pond Street, Hampstead, N.W.3. Reply, 29 January 1966.
Juliette Huxley's letter is 4to: 2 pp. Good, though lightly creased and attached to the other items by a paperclip. The correspondence mainly concerns a book by Cowell's eventually published under the title 'The garden as a fine art: from antiquity to modern times' (1978). She begins by describing Mary Wellesley: 'quite a character [...] lives in a small house off St. James's Palace, and entertains by candlelight.
Papers relating to John Dale, nineteenth-century English gardener
1874 to 1893; from various places in England.
Some of the envelopes are grubby, creased, and stained, but the collection is in good condition overall. Most items are 16mo. The first testimonial (1 page, 16mo), by 'H Smith | Gardener & Bailiff', is dated August 1874. It reads 'John Dale lived under me in the Gardens at The Dale nr Manchester for two years, during which time I found him very steady & industrious & attentive to his duties'. The second testimonial (1 page, 4to, in official envelope addressed to Dale at Petworth Park) is from J. Smith, Curator, Royal Gardens, Kew, and is dated 28 April 1877.
15 September 1964, on letterhead of the British Museum (Natural History), Department of Entomology.
Entomologist (1924-), author of the monumental 'Generic names of moths of the world' (6 vols, 1975-91). The recipient is the author of several works on gardening. 1 page, 8vo. In good condition, but creased and with one closed tear and with sellotape stains at head and foot. He thanks his correspondent for the letter of 10 September enclosing a caterpillar, and compliments him on its preservation. '[I]t is in perfect condition for determination. It is very difficult to preserve the green coloration, as in life.' He identifies the specimen as a cabbage moth.