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Darwin Correspondence Project

From James Torbitt   [after 18 October 1878]1

Sent to Counter-balance Mr Kennedy’s unfavourable report.2

I am busy examining varieties of 1875, tuber by tuber, and hope to report in a few days

most respectfully | J. Torbitt


Lismoyne, | Dunmurry, | Co. Antrim.

18 October 1878


I will be obliged if you can give me one puncheon & one cut in two halves similar to the one I have already got from you, of course I mean all to be second hand.3

I am still persevering with the potatoes grown from the seed, the crop has been always large & free from disease4 & each year the shape is better, I of course reject all unshapely ones when planting in Spring.

Yours very truly | Geo Callwell


The date is established by the date of the enclosure.
See enclosure to letter from James Torbitt, 8 October 1878. Victor Coates Kennedy had reported little success in growing Torbitt’s potato seedlings.
Torbitt was a wine merchant; a puncheon was a large barrel or cask for storing wine (OED). Torbitt deleted this paragraph.
Torbitt’s underlining.


OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


Forwards letter from George Callwell reporting what a large and disease-free potato crop JT’s seed yields.

Letter details

Letter no.
James Torbitt
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 178: 149
Physical description
1p, encl ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11724,” accessed on 5 March 2021,