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Document number: 03177
Date: 05 Dec 1835
Recipient: HOOKER William Jackson
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Collection number: EL 6.242
Last updated: 1st May 2012

Lacock Abbey
5th Decr 1835

My Dear Sir

I must begin by premising that my town residence is No 31 Sackville St <1> and that I am not in the present parliament.

I had heard of the unfortunate death of Drummond, <2> tho’ I am not aware whether it was from the effects of the climate, or from accident. I have written to Hunneman <3> to forward the parcel which you sent him for me. Have you raised any of Drummond’s seeds? I have little chance of doing much in that way for I have no stove. But one plant I raised & still cultivate for its prettiness – it is a little annual – a species of Arenaria very nearly allied to the English Arenaria rubra, with which it accords in having only 2 or 3 stamina. <4> Nevertheless I believe it is quite a distinct species – Its flowers only open in sunshine – it seeds freely – Perhaps you can identify it from this description & tell me what name you have given to it. Do not forget some day or other to send me the names of 14 species of Ionian plants, <5> which I marked for that purpose in the collection I sent you.

I am in want of a good gardener next spring, can you recommend me one? I give my present one <6> 35£ per annum & a house rent free, but do not board him – Do you know of any intelligent honest gardener who would like the Situation – I also wish to recommend my present one, who is too good for me, that is he deserves higher wages than I can give him, which is the reason he is going; he would make an excellent undergardener to some large establishment. Can you send me a scrap of the different British Species of Trichomanes and Hymenophyllum <7> I want to identify a kind which I gathered a few months ago at the Devil’s Bridge in Cardiganshire, growing in the spray of a waterfall, and always dripping with moisture, in company with Buxbaumia foliosa.

If you write to me under cover to the Honble William Strangways, <8> Foreign Office, Downing St <9> London, he will forward it to me, at present, and for some months to come. Martius <10> is selling sets of Brazilian plants – do you wish for particulars? Perhaps you are already in possession of them. I am glad to hear of Spanish plants <11> having been collected – I should think the Sierra Nevada of Grenada would furnish an endless number of fine ones. It is unfortunate the snowy chain of the Atlas behind Algiers and Morocco cannot be explored –

Believe me to remain Yours very truly
H. F. Talbot

1835 London December seven W F Strangways
Professor Hooker

Professor W. J. Hooker


1. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.

2. See Doc. No: 02763. Thomas Drummond (1793-1835), Scottish botanical collector; died in Cuba in early March 1835.

3. James Hunneman, London nurseryman.

4. A rare plural of ‘stamen’.

5. See Doc. No: 02546.

6. Cornelius Fitzsimmons.

7. See Doc. No: 03179.

8. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.

9. The Foreign Office was situated in Downing Street (1793–1861).

10. Dr Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794–1868), German botanist.

11. See Doc. No: 02763.