Ellen to Mackay; February  15th 1807 (cross hatched on the left)

 (Still with gaps and uncertainties – ?? and ….. indicate pieces not yet transcribed) Original in the Herbarium, Trinity College Dublin

15th February 1807

Dear Sir

Since I wrote last to you I have got some six? plants and am again tempted to send them to you. I enclose a very small Conferva which I found growing on a small Fucus. I could not think of any safe way of sending it but inside of two little plates belonging to my little microscope.

I am afraid to put it on paper. If you put a drop of water on it and then place it in a microscope you will immediately see it plainly. Its manner of growth seems entirely new to me, perhaps it is a plant of some kind you are acquainted with. I found but very little of it. I enclose a small bit of another Conferva spread on paper. It ??  ?? ?? at this season in thick ??bunches. I sent you some of it last year but as the fine branches were all broken off by the storms it had a different appearance from this. I have some of it drying for you. You also have a small bit of a little Fucus in fruit. I got one small specimen of it and some of a small kind which I got one ?? of thrown up by the last winter’s storms, I found it just [obscured by pen]

 (On inside left hand page)

….. I could not have any  ………. in it. I have found another ……. which I take to be Fucus subfuscus. You shall have some of it. What is the little fringed plant enclosed? I have got 3 bits of it.

Fucus viridis I believe grows some where in this bay. I have got one small ……. bit of a plant which I think agrees with Mr Turner’s description. Mr T thinks Fucus ligulatus has not been found growing. It grows in this bay at Eagle Point perhaps you have seen it growing but unless you have cannot think how beautiful it is. It grows on the edges of very deep holes and as far as I could observe is always covered with water even at extreme low water. Its colour a beautiful glossy brown alive, when put in fresh water it turns yellow and has a most disagreeable ?? smell. Do you wish to have more of it?

I have begun another collection for you and hope to have a large parcel soon. I have some specimens of a small brown Conferva (parasitica I believe) in fruit. I found it last summer on the branches of Fucus siliguosae and had it like?? you on the ?? of specimens you wish to have it.

 I am determined to pursue the sea plants this year with all my might and wish to know the kinds you wish to have either dry or fresh. I am much obliged to you for your last letter. I fear it was some inconvenience to you to waste so long. How very eager my curiosity may be to hear of the plants. I should be sorry its fructification was inconvenient to you. As an instance of the amazing quick growth of sea plants, I shall mention that on the 3rd March last year I found a beautiful little Conferva in plenty and …… ….. this year on the 29th January …. …. not the least appearance of it where I found it in such plenty.

 I hope to do a great deal this summer and to add largely to our collections. My mother and brother are quite delighted with the beauty of the sea plants. I wish indeed that you could visit some of the rocks with me. I am very glad you liked the last parcel. As soon as I have any good quality specimens for you I shall send these and let you know. The weather here has been so stormy that I have not been able to get more of the last?? little beauty I sent for you however I have 3 specimens preserved. It bears drying better than I expected. The very first mild weather I shall get some more of it. Will you have specimens of Fucus dicchus?? And of the varieties of Lacinilus?? ? I hope in the summer to get some specimens of Fucus unclatis??

 Will you have some of Fucus kuscifolia?? ? I can get enough of it. I am in great hopes of having a plant of the Iccapins?? we got at Glengarriff in blossom this year. It was when I saw it in blossom one of the most beautiful things I ever saw.

 Should the summer be a favourable one, I hope to go to many rocks on either side of the bay. I shall make every exertion in my power to collect plants. I expect to have a great many for Dr Stokes and for you.

I am Sir with many good wishes yours etc etc

E Hutchins

 (Sideways in cross hatching)

A fisherman from Bearhaven told me that a kind of small tree grows on an island ….. ….. off the coast. He says the roots of it creep in the crevices of the rock and that it is somewhat like …..?? He says it does not grow anywhere else up the coast…… man is very intelligent but I fear not very ….ly attached………… that there / were it/is some plant growing on the land which …….. considered …….. by the people of the country is certain ……. has promised in the summer to send me roots of it and I am …… he will not fail to send them. He says it is …… but now …… know that with certainty. I can’t think as the island can only be landed on in the finest summer weather.

 

 

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