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Document number: 691
Date: 03 Apr 1816
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: TREVELYAN Walter Calverley
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 29th January 2012

April 3rd – 16

My Dear Talbot –

This is not a season for finding many habitats, the following are all I have to send. Lichen Hirtus which Sowerby <1> says is very rare in fruct: I have several bits of Lichen floridus. both at Wallington. Lichen Omphalodes. on Shaftoe Crags. – But I have found the habitat of 4 Species of Antidiluvian Trees, about [illegible deletion[ 2 miles to the North of Newbiggin on the sea coast, in the space of about ½ a mile I counted about 18 trees & bits of trees [illegible deletion] what is very remarkable is that in that number all but three are upright, as some are washed away others appear. – There is none higher than about 12 feet standing now, but about the year 1803 there was one standing of about 20 feet in height and 15 or 16 in circumference, they mostly have bulbous roots, one species is marked thus on the outside [illustration] another [illustration] another like the bark of Spanish Chestnut & the 4th a smooth bark. – The bark has turned into Coal, the wood stone. – Below the roots is a bed of Coal. – Can they be standing in the same place they were before the deluge? If not, why are they mostly upright? – I hope you will come & see them yourself next Summer. –

I don’t know whether I mentioned to you the lead vein which has been found here, 18 inches in breadth, very pure, thought very well of. – How goes on Mr Dillwyn’s <2> Conchology? We have about 200 different varietys [sic] of English Shells. I enclose a piece of very pretty conferva out of a brook. – weather cold, every thing backward. not had snow entirely off the ground since November. – We have a fossil reed which was found in a quarry, it is about 5 feet in length. We have had many fine branches destroyed by the the weight of snow which accumulated on them. The following are the names of some seeds which I sowed in a neighbouring hot house about the end of Febry & most of which are now highish. Anacardium occidentale. Shad Bark. Circassian Bean. White Cotton & silk Cotton. Guilandina Bonduc. Sapindus Saponaria. Ochre. Ptaheita[?] Pea. Bonavista Pea. Annona Muricata. &c &c &c. – If you would like to have some for your aunt I shall be very glad to send you some. I was in N Castle the other day when I saw a Paper manufactory in which the Paper is made between rollers, and of an indefinite length it is a french invention. I saw also a shot, white lead, & sheet lead, and a manufactory for grinding & polishing plate glass, all of which are very interesting. – I hope you will give me an opportunity this summer of revisiting them with you. –

This letter is sealed with a fossil, of that sort which is called by the vulgar in these parts St Cuthberts beads, & which they say that he and the Devil are always manufacturing. – Hoping this will find you well I am in haste

yours truly
W. C. Trevelyan

I have a fine specimen of Auricularia Phosphorea very beautiful

W. H. Talbot Esqr
Revnd Mr Barne’s <3>
Ferry Bridge
Yorks –


1. Possibly George Brettingham Sowerby (1788–1854), naturalist.

2. Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1778–1855), Welsh botanist & MP. [See Doc. No: 00641].

3. Rev Theophilus Barnes (1774 –1855), of Castleford.

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