Most of the scarce Plants which are said in the Botanists Guide to be natives of the neighborhood of Harrow <1> rest wholly on the authority of Blackstones Catalogus Plantarum circa Harefield, & of those which you mention Veronica montana (as well as the Cranberry & the white Ajuga) is rather too common to be admitted among the rariores. I do not think that Papaver somniferum has any claim to be reckoned a native of Britain any more than Lepidium sativum, Solanum tuberosum & many such other Garden Plants which are not infrequently met with in our Fields About the Dungheaps at Battersea I have seen Cucumes sativus growing luxuriantly without any cultivation, & it may almost as properly be considered a native as Datura Stramonium, Valeriana rubra, Cyclamen europeum, Tulipa sylvestris, Ornithogalum nutans & several others which have been placed in English Botany among our Natives.
It certainly is extraordinary for Triglochin maritinum to grow in a freshwater Pond, & I rely on your accuracy for not having mistaken T. palustre which it greatly resembles, & differs from principally in the Capsule It is so long since I studied the Mosses that you must always doubt my accuracy, & the Specimens which you have sent are rather too imperfect to rouse my sleeping recollection of them & in particular want the Operculum which in determining Hypni [sic] is often the most important guide. They are I believe as follows No 1 & No 2. Hypnum serpens No 3. Hypnum riparium No 4. Hypnum striatum. The work which I have in hand will include all recent shells both British & Foreign, but not any fossil Species. I shall be much obliged to you for the Patella you mention, & if you can procure it in time Christopher will perhaps have the goodness to bring it with him I am sorry to find that you are engaged elsewhere, but I still hope you will be able to spend a part of the Holidays at Penrice & at the Willows<2>
I remain Yours sincerely
L W Dillwyn
Nov: 28. 1814.
I have kept this Letter in the expectation of procuring a Frank & having succeeded enables me to enclose a few scarce mosses which I happen to have by me.
1. Harrow School: WHFT attended from 18111815 and his son Charles from 1855-1859. See Dawson Turner and Lewis Weston Dillwyn, The botanists guide through England and Wales (London: Phillips and Fardon, 1807).
2. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot. The Willows was Dillwyn's Swansea town house.
3. William Hicks Beach (17831856), MP.
4. Rev George Butler (17741853), Headmaster at Harrow.