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Document number: 4446
Date: 05 Mar 1842
Harold White: 5 Mar 1842
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: LINDLEY John
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 1st September 2003

My Dear Sir

I fear you are wrong about Ribes This is Sprengels <1> account. The <Arabic text> ( i.e. Ribarch) of Avicenna & Serapis is Rheum Ribes. <2> “Nam hanc plantam in locis monti<bus?> Syriæ & Persiæ, foliis amplissimis rotundis <illegible> et baccis acidodulcibus – <illegible word> maximè in <montibus?> auctis <Plura?> loci Hydr<ius?> (de religo ut Pers. 512.513) e cor<tici?>bus <illegible> <Sperricis?> addient, e quibus liquot plantam hanc non <nimius?> <illegible> <distingere?> etiam <illegible> ignorant <butiranam?>, capreolos ad <rubidum?> urgentes Cr<illegible> folia <illegible> similia esse. <Mali?> olim cum Ribe nostro commut<illegible> fuit <illegible, underlined>, <illegible> <Angelus?> de S. <Joanno?> (ad pharm. <illegible> p. 364) primus docent <visam?> cum Rhu speciem”

Yours truly

John Lindley

The word Ribes appears to have been first promulgated in Vochenberg’s “Meisterlich Büchlein der Arzney & Kreutter<”> <3> 1497 where the common currant is called Ribes Joannis. <4>

Henry Fox Talbot Esq
Sackville St

<Summary of sense>

<Rheum Ribes> is found in mountainous places in Syria and Persia. It has very large, round leaves and bittersweet berries. Its identity has been conflated with that of our Ribes. One or other of the species <unclear which one> was <called?> the Angel of St John.


1. Kurt Sprengel (1766–1833), botanist.

2. The name Ribes was originally applied to rhubarb ( Rheum).

3. Johann Tollat von Vochenberg, Büchlein der Arznei (Kräuter).

4. John’s currant.

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