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Document number: 629
Date: 28 Nov 1814
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: DILLWYN Lewis Weston
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 14th April 2020

Dear Sir

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.

Swansea December one 1814 Fn W: Hicks Beach <3>
W: Henry Talbot Esqre
Revd Dr Butlers <4>
Nov. 28. 1814.


1. Harrow School: WHFT attended from 1811–1815 and his son Charles from 1855-1859. See Dawson Turner and Lewis Weston Dillwyn, The botanist’s 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 (1783–1856), MP.

4. Rev George Butler (1774–1853), Headmaster at Harrow.

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