Record book of seeds received by James Veitch and Sons from William Purdom in China and later from Reginald Farrer and George Forrest ‘per York Esq’ [Maurice Francis Yorke]

Scope and Content

Annotated ‘Given me by H.J. Veitch. F.J.C.’ [Fred J. Chittenden]. Later annotated ‘Presented by F.J. Chittenden, Nov 1939. Record of collections made for the firm of Veitch by William Purdom (b. Hevensham, Westmorland, 10 April 1880: d. Peking, 7 Nov 1921) in Northern China. He was with Reginald Farrer in China 1913-15 and was forestry adviser to the Chinese government 1915-21’

Entries are in columns headed ‘Number’ (consecutive numbers), ‘Date received’, ‘Date sown’, ‘Description’ (eg ‘climber’, ‘2 ft high’, ‘shrub’, ‘tree 15/25 ft’), ‘Name’ (eg spiraea, viburnum, rhododendron, often followed by altitude in feet) and ‘Remarks’ (usually the location where the specimen was found). Later annotations in red give date of death of some plants and are accompanied by the initial K [?Adolphus Kent, private secretary to Sir Harry Veitch] and the date; some entries are annotated ‘C.S.’ [?possibly a reference to Charles Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum, which co-sponsored the expedition]

Pages 1-63 comprise entries of seeds and plants received from Purdom between 17 May 1909 and 11 Jun 1912

Page 63 bears three entries of specimens received on 10 Jun 1916. Only number, date received, date sown and description are recorded. An enclosure, originally at this page and stored separately for conservation purposes, reads ‘With the compliments of W. Purdom (more later)’ and is annotated with the date of receipt of the three plants

Entries on page 65 are headed ‘Farrer: from the RBG Edinburgh per York Esq’, and dated 12 May 1920. Only number, date received, name, and one description are recorded

Entries on page 66 are headed ‘Forrest Expedition 1919 per York Esq’ [Maurice Francis Yorke, a member of the Forrest expedition syndicate in 1919] and are dated 12 May 1920. Only number, date received, name, and description are recorded

The remainder of the volume is blank

Originally enclosed inside front cover, now stored separately for conservation purposes, is a sheet of RHS headed notepaper with pencil notes on reverse in the hand of W.T. Stearn, Lindley Library librarian, with notes relating to Purdom’s seed collections, c.1939

The volume is fragile. The binding is weak and one page is detached, and it is awaiting conservation. In the meantime please handle with care