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Document number: 317
Date: 17 May 1863
Recipient: BALFOUR John Hutton
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Collection number: Balfour Corr v. XI T22
Last updated: 5th August 2010

Profr Balfour

Millburn tower <1>
near Edinburgh
May 17

Dr Sir

I wish to withdraw one of my mathematical papers viz. “On the Theory of Parallels” <2> for further consideration – It may appear in the next part but one, of the R. Socys <3> Transactions –

Professor Kelland <4> has pointed out to me that several of my results have been anticipated by the French mathematician Legendre <5> in a Memoir which I have not seen, and which I wish to consult.

In another envelope I send you a specimen of Embothrium coccineum which perhaps you may think deserving of a place in the Herbarium of your Botanical Society <6> – It comes from Her Majesty’s garden at Osborne <7> where it grows in the open air flowering in the early part of May.

I remain Dr Sir Yours very Truly
H. F. Talbot


1. Millburn Tower, Gogar, just west of Edinburgh; the Talbot family made it their northern home from June 1861 to November 1863. It is particularly important because WHFT conducted many of his photoglyphic engraving experiments there. The house had a rich history. Built for Sir Robert Liston (1742-1836), an 1805 design by Benjamin Latrobe for a round building was contemplated but in 1806 a small house was built to the design of William Atkinson (1773-1839), best known for Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford. The distinctive Gothic exterior was raised in 1815 and an additional extension built in 1821. Liston had been ambassador to the United States and maintained a warm Anglo-American relationship in the years 1796-1800. His wife, the botanist Henrietta Liston, née Marchant (1751-1828) designed a lavish American garden, sadly largely gone by the time the Talbots rented the house .

2. See Doc. No: 08682.

3. Royal Society of Edinburgh.

4. Prof Philip Kelland (1808–1879), Scottish mathematician.

5. Adrien Marie Legendre (1752–1833), mathematician.

6. The Botanical Society of Edinburgh.

7. Osborne House, Isle of Wight. Purchased in 1845 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a retreat from court life.

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