[ Rev. Thomas Arthur Preston of Marlborough College, botanist. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('T. A. Preston') to J. Ramsay, regarding 'the connection between Vegetation & Climate', a subject 'in its infancy'.

T. A. Preston [ Rev. Thomas Arthur Preston ] (1833-1905) of Marlborough College, botanist
Publication details: 
On letterhead of The College [amended by Preston to 'Green'], Marlborough. 28 May 1881.
SKU: 19971

12pp., 12mo. On three bifoliums. In good condition, lightly aged. A long speculation - of great interest in the light of subsequent developments - on 'the connection between Vegetation & Climate', beginning with a discussion of 'the case of the Hawthorn'. 'The whole subject', he notes, 'at present is in its infancy and there are so many varied questions for wh. we seek answers that at present I do not think we can state any certain conclusions. | Botanically, the constitution of each species is an interesting source of investigation. I at no time imagined that some species were so constant in their time of flowering that they were practically useless as probable indicators of the weather.' He also discusses 'the connection between one species & another, especially when applicable to cultivation', and continues with reference to mulberry trees and the 'leafing of the Oak & Ash'. He sums up: 'Though myself fully believing that trees have a very great influence on composition of Rainfall, I must warn you that it [is] not a universally accepted Theory. Mr. Scott, for instance, believes that except the destruction or planting of trees takes place upon a very large scale, no effect is really produced on climate. I believe that he wd. Consider the whole of England as almost too small a space for this effect to be produced. As I said I do not hold to this, but still there are some eminent meteorologists who do, and of course their opinion has considerable weight.' Preston was a scholar of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he had a distinguished academic career; he was the author of the 'Flora of Marlborough' (1863) and other botanical works. He was founder of the Natural History Society at Marlborough. For more information see his obituary in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (1905).