Encloses an extract concerning beans from the Systema Horticultureæ of 1688 by J. Worlidge. Will be pleased to lend the volume if needed.
I enclose an extract respecting Beans from the Systema Horticulturea—or the Art of Gardening by I Woolridge Gent— printed for Thos Dring at the Harrow over against the Templegate in Fleet street 1688 I shall be pleased to lend you the work if it will be of any service—
Yrs obedtly | Jno Gould
Kidney Beans were as ancient a food as the other (The Broad Beans) and in very great esteem with the old Italians; yet within the Memory of man were a great rarity here in England although now a known and common delicate Food
They delight in a warm, light, and fertile ground, which being well stirred, and about May-day or very little sooner, planted with the Kidney Beans, at about a foot apart, and two fingers deep, will yield you an extraordinary Crop
You may either set tall sticks near for them to turne about or let them lie on the ground, but if you are straitened in room, those on sticks will yield you the greatest crop
Of these there are four sorts, 1. The Scarlet Runner Bean, which yieldeth a rough husk, and is not the best to eat in the shell as Kidney Beans usually are eaten, but is the best to be eaten in the winter when dry and boiled. 2. The Painted or Steaked Bean, which is the hardiest, although the meanest of all, and is known, the dry Bean being all over streaked with a dark Color. 3. The large White Bean, which yields a fair and delicate Pod. 4 The small White Bean which except in size is like the latter, but esteemed the sweeter.
There is another sort much like the last, that is natural to the Island, Bona Vista, and thence taken and propagated in the Summer Islands, from whence certain persons have them dry and esteem them as delicate Meat; they will flourish here well in branch, but our Summers are not long enough to bring them to maturity, Quære, if raised on a hot bed
- f1 4631a.f1The reference is to Worlidge 1688. The third part of John Worlidge's horticultural treatise gave directions for managing the kitchen garden and growing culinary plants; beans and peas are discussed on pages 170--5 and 253.
- f2 4631a.f2This letter is in answer to CD's letter to Gardeners' Chronicle, [before 8 October 1864].
- f3 4631a.f3The extract is from Worlidge 1688, pp. 171--2.
- f4 4631a.f4A gazetteer of 1781 identifies two islands called Bona Vista (Seally 1781): one of the North Mariana Islands in the Pacific, now called Tinian, and one of the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic, 200 miles west of the African coast, now known as Ilha da Boavista. The `Summer Islands' are probably those now known as the Bermuda islands.
- f5 4631a.f5William Brooks was an outdoor servant at Down House (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 April  and n. 19). A photograph of Brooks and Henry Lettington, taken in 1859, is reproduced in this volume opposite p. 121.