Augst 20th 1816
My dear Sir
You will I am sure be much surprized at my not having yet written to you: but I have as yet been home but a short time & no sooner did I return to Halesworth than I had an unexpected visit from a foreign botanical friend. He has but just left me & his stay has so thrown me out of my usual botanical employments that I must work a few days incessantly at my Flora lond
oninensis <1> before I can attend to any other employment. I had already laid by some mosses for you & by the latter end of this week I shall not fail to complete the packet & dispatch it to Lady E. Feilding <2> in Town. I can however delay no longer sending you a few lines if it be only to notice your papers of Phasca which I had examined previously to leaving town. And first I must tell you that you have completely set me right with regard to P. rectum & P. curvicollum. Your specimens are quite satisfactory & I have made drawings from them which I shall publish. Your P. serratum is quite right; as is your P. crispum against which you had unnecessarily put a t note of doubt. Your P. alternifolium, however is quite another thing & I fear only barren shoots of Bryum carneum: and your P. piliferum is no other than male plants of Bryum bicolor, or some species nearly allied to it. Indeed P. piliferum itself I am afraid is but a variety of P. cuspidatum.
Mohr’s Fl. Crypt. Germ. <3> I am sorry to say is not to be procured at any Booksellers. My copy was given to me by a friend in Switzerland & I believe is the only perfect copy of it in the kingdom. Were I not in such constant, I might almost say, daily, use of it, I would send it to you for a few weeks. I have, however, laid by for you copies of his Generic characters, his remarks upon them & of the species of his Genus Phascum, which may be of some service to you.
I have just purchased a duplicate copy of Hedwig’s Stirpes, <4> which being offered to me for 9£ I could not refuse. I have therefore my former copy at the disposal of any one who wishes to purchase it for what I gave for it, which is £12. There are two volumes done up in one volume in boards.
I am glad you like Mr Turner’s Muscologia Hibernica. <5> I wish he had time to publish a new edition, in which the number of species might be very greatly increased. I am not sure however that Bryum stellare is a native of that country. I should like much to see your specimens & I beg you will have the goodness to communicate anything to me that
I you may think interesting.
I wrote to my valued friend Mr Dalton <6> respecting you & he tells me that you have promised him the pleasure of your company in the Autumn. You will be much gratified, I trust, in his acquaintance. Unfortunately he lives in a country not very favorable for Mosses, but it is no great distance from Teesdale where there must be a vast field, hitherto unexplored. Mr Dalton was himself once an excellent Muscologist & with his acuteness, had he continued with ardour the study would have been ere this, the first in this or perhaps any other country. I shall write to you further with the packet. Till then Adieu, my dear friend
& believe me to remain, very faithfully yrs
W. J Hooker.
1. William Curtis (1746–1799), Flora Londinensis, containing a history of the plants indigenous to Great Britain,…, volumes 4 and 5 by William Jackson Hooker (London: G. Graves, 1817–1828).
2. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
3. Daniel Matthias Heinrich Mohr (1780–1808), Botanisches Taschenbuch auf das Jahr 1807: Deutschlands kryptogamische Gewächse. 1 Abth. Filices, Musci frondosi et hepatici (Kiel: 1807).
4. Johann Hedwig (1730–1799), Stirpes cryptogamicæ novæ aut dubiæ… (Leipzig: J. G. Müller, 1785–1788).
6. Rev James Dalton (1764–1843), botanist.
7. Castleford, Yorkshire, 10 mi SE of Leeds, where WHFT went to school from 1815-1816.
8. Written in another hand.