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Document number: 622
Date: 28 Oct 1814
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: DILLWYN Lewis Weston
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 29th January 2012

Dear Sir

It compleatly vexed me to find at the time when I received your Letter that you was [sic] already out of Wales for if I had had the smallest notion that your stay would have been so short I should have made a point of spending a day or two with you at Penrice <1> which nothing but some important engagements had induced me to defer, & I also should have been more urgent in pressing you to visit me at Swansea. I am now again much vexed to find that your Letter dated Sept 11 still remains unanswered, & I feared it was lost till after many other unsuccessful hunts it was last night found in Mrs Ds Desk where it had been accidentally passd behind when I took from her some other of my Letters which she had brought from Penllergare. <2> I accept of your proposed correspondence with pleasure, & shall be very happy to render every assistance in my power to your botanical pursuits. Next winter I hope that you & Christopher <3> will pay me a Visit, & if you are forming a Hortus siccus I can then give you specimens of several of the rarest British species I will now look over your supplement to Glamorganshire, & make such remarks as may occur.

Carduus eriophorus, I long ago observed in this County & tho it is hardly sufficiently rare it ought to have been mentioned in Glamorganshire as it has been thought worthy of notice in other parts of the Guide

Oxalis corniculata I believe has never been found wild in Britain except in Devonshire, & I cannot help suspecting either that you have made a mistake, in that the Plants which you found had escaped from Lady Marys <4> Garden In the neighborhood of such a general collection as hers care must be taken to discriminate between such escapes, & those Plants which are real natives of the place I strongly suspect that Fumaria lutea, Linum catharticum flore pleno, & the double variety of Saponaria officinalis must all come under the former denomination & are therefore not entitled to a place in the Guide Anthemis nobilis Mentha rotundifolia, Equisetum fluviatile, Orobanche elatior Scutellaria minor & Festuca vivipara shall all be mentioned in the next Edition if another should ever be published.

The white varieties of Erica cinerea & tetralix are occasionally found hic & ubique.

I shall be glad to receive your List of the rarer Harrow Plants whenever it may be convenient for you to send it Dr Smiths <5> is the best arrangement of the British mosses tho it is far from perfect, & the Flora Britannica <6> is a Work which you most undoubtedly ought to have. The Musci are rather a difficult tribe & if you are determined to master them you had better come & shut yourself up for a fortnight in my Library where you will find a tolerably good collection which will materially assist

I am Yrs very sincerely
LW Dillwyn

Willows<7>
Oct. 28. 1814.

W. H. F. Talbot Esq.
at the Revd Dr Butlers
Harrow on the Hill
Middlesex.


Notes:

1. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.

2. Penllergaer, Glamorgan, 5 mi E of Loughor: home of the Llewelyn family.

3. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (18031890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFTs Welsh cousin.

4. Lady Mary Lucy Cole, ne Strangways, first m. Talbot (17761855), WHFTs aunt.

5. Sir James Edward Smith (17591828), botanist who wrote Introduction to Physiological & Systematic Botany (London: Longman, Hurst, Reese, Orme, and White, 1807). [See Doc. No: 00569].

6. Smith, Flora Britannica (London: printed by J. Taylor, J. Davis and J. White, 18001804).

7. The Swansea town home of Dillwyn.

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