The National Collection of Magnolias at Caerhays
Among the Rhododendrons which appear to have flowered at Caerhays before they did so anywhere else in the British Isles, the following may be mentioned: adenopodum, FORREST’S Beesianun (April 1927), callimorphum (1917), campylogynum (1920), KINGDON WARD’S chryseum (May 1919), FORREST’S cuneatum (April 1917), WARD’S facetum (April 1926), floccigerum (April 1922), ledoides (1917), leptothrium (May 1920), mallotum (March 1931), mollicomum (1917), sulfureum (April 1920), all FORREST’S introductions, and WILSON’S Thayerianum (July 1922).
Mr. WILLIAMS was also very successful in growing in the open plants which are generally reckoned tender, for example: R.argenreum (grande), R.carneum, R.Championae, R, Edgeworthii, R.erigynum, R.facetum (“very fine indeed” on May 7, 1926), R.Lindleyi, R.Mackenzianum (stenaulum), R.megacalyx, R.ovatum, R.Thayerianum. In the case of R.ciliicalyx he had to wait for more than twenty years – April 16, 1927, “.ciliialyx is at its best, it has never been really good before this in twenty or more years we have had it.”
Mr. WILLIAMS had an unusually good type of R.glischrum and the best plant in the country of R.stamineum. Perhaps the best of WILSON’S forms of R.Fortunei were grown at Caerhays. Thus, in Mr. WILLIAMS’S own words (July 7, 1915), “I have found the best pink form of Wilson’s Fortunei in the Beech Walk I have ever seen.”The figure in the Botanical Magazine of R.bracteatum (t.9031) was made from a plant growing at Caerhays; which reminds me that on one occasion Mr. WILLIAMS gave as a wedding present to a friend all the plates of Rhododendrons which had ever appeared in the Botanical Magazine bound up in a handsome volume.
The height of Rhododendron blossom at Caerhays is usually reached in March or April. There is a note in the Garden Book on April 27, 1920, that seventy to eighty species were in flower; on March 31, 1923, seventy-five species and many dozens of hybrids; on March 25, 1925, fifty to sixty species; on March 5, 1926, over seventy species. And so on. But, of course, things at Caerhays tend to be early. By about the middle of January a dozen or more species may be opening; there were about twenty showing flower on January 25, 1920; thirty-four on February 14, 1926; these had increased to fifty and more on February 23.
For many years Mr. WILLIAMS interested himself in producing Rhododendron hybrids. He would make perhaps twenty or thirty crosses a year. It would take about four years to see what a small hybrid was like, and eight to twelve to judge a large one, Mr. WILLIAM’S standards were exceptionally high and he discarded ruthlessly.
Almost every year he spent some weeks at this house in the Scottish Highlands. A friend once asked him when he did he get his greatest thrill, and he replied it was when he came back to Caerhays about the second week in October and went around the garden to see from the buds which Rhododendrons would be flowering for the first time. Here are two notes from the Garden Book: October 11, 1911 – “Many, probably all, the big Chinese have set for flower, and many of them for the first time”; October 8, 1920 –“Returned from Scotland, a great Rhododendron year. Martin’s seedling Rhododendrons quite unbeaten by any thing I have ever seen.”Mr.WILLIAMS’S successful hybrids were many, and many of them have never been named. The following are recorded in the Rhododendron Stud Book:
‘Blue Tit’ impeditum x Augustinii 1933
‘Crossbill’ spinuliferum x lutescens 1933
‘Humming Bird’ haematodes x Williamsianum 1933
‘Kittiwake’ lutescens x Edgeworthii 1933
‘Moonstone’ campylocarpum x Williamsianum 1933
‘Red Admiral’ arboretum x Thomsonii
‘Robin Hood’ calophytum x sutchuenense 1933
‘Robin Redbreast’ Houlstonii x orbiculare 1933
‘Royal Flush’ cinnabarinum x Maddenii
‘Snow Bunting’ arboretum album x sutchuenense
‘Sulphur Yellow’ Souliei x campylocarpum
‘Yellow Hammer’ sulfureum x flavidum
Of these ‘Blue Tit’ is the beautiful well-known dwarf Rhododendron with almost sky-blue flowers; ‘Kittiwake’ is one of the most remarkable crosses made by Mr. WILLIAMS, with its large flowers of pale creamy-yellow; ‘Royal Flush’ was regarded by no less an authority than the late Mr. LIONEL ROTHSCHILD as the finest hybrid ever produced; ‘Snow Bunting’ was a notable success at Caerhays – “The white to pink cross of arboretum by sutchuenense dominates most things now” (March 16, 1926); ‘Sulphur Yellow’ was “very, very pretty” at Caerhays on May 2, 1926; ‘Yellow Hammer’ is one of the most desirable Rhododendron yellows, which are, of course, comparatively uncommon.
From other combinations registered under other names Mr. WILLIAMS obtained in a number of cases a specially good form of plant. His moupinense x ciliatum, his auriculatum x discolour (“more serviceable than auriculaum, and not so hard to please”), his bracyanthum x flavidum (awarded the A.M. in 1924) are good examples.
Notes from the Garden Book like the following illustrate the experiments Mr. WILLIAMS was continually making:
August 4, 1914. “Very few things open except R.auriculatum which I am crossing with R.Ungernii from Tregrehan, a clean white form.”
April 15, 1915. “R.calophytum is in flower very fine. I crossed it with R.argenteum.”
Sept. 12, 1915 “Have been crossing R.primulinum (flavidum) with R.trichocladum.”
June 1, 1919. “Cinnabarinum x yunnanense – very pretty, and I had them dressed and wired (to keep off the rabbits).”
June 25, 1923. “Have been crossing Souliei with the best orange dichroanthum.”
May 21, 1932. “I put yellow Maddenii hybrid on the whole of Ward’s honey yellow Roylei. I picked the seed in Oct. 1934.”
The story told in connection with his ‘Cornish Loderi’ is that he first saw this cross (Griffithianum x Fortunei) at Sir E. LODER’s and years later Sir EDMUND came to visit Caerhays and was astonished to see many specimens of almost the same cross which Mr. WILLIAMS had in the meantime produced himself and called the ‘Cornish Loderi’. It may be noted in passing that Mr. WILLIAMS was awarded the Loder Cup in 1922; his other awards are too many to enumerate. I think he regarded them as awards to his plants rather than to himself. He several times declined the V.M.H., having a strong aversion from publicity of any kind.
With his Rhododendrons he was as generous as with other things. When Mr. C.P.RAFFILL of Kew came to visit him at Caerhays in 1927 he sent back with him a railway truck full of Rhododendrons for the new Chinese Rhododendron house he was building at Kew. The plate of R.magacalyx in the Botanical Magazine (t.9326) was taken from plants raised by Mr. WILLIAMS and presented to the Temperate House in 1923; they first flowered in May 1930.
The records of Kew contain many entries such as the following: “1911, from Mr. J. C. Williams, half the seedlings raised from seeds collected by Forrest in Autumn 1910”; “1913, May 20th, 213 packets of seeds from Mr Williams.” “Numbers of the Primulas figured in the Botanical Magazine were raised at Kew from seed so presented, e.g., Primula anisodora (t. 8752). Primula sinopurpurea (t. 8777). And when I was visiting Kew in April this year it gave me particular satisfaction to find a well-grown plant of R.hippophaeoides labelled “J.C.W. 1923”; another of R.othocladum “J.C.W. 1911”; and there were many other such.
Mr. WILLIAMS had even closer relations with the Royal Gardens at Edinburgh. He never let slip the chance of going there, and Professor BAYLEY BALFOUR was a personal friend and a constant correspondent. The Botanical Magazine figures Gentuana stragulata (t. 8897) raised from seedlings given to Professor BALFOUR by Mr. WILLIAMS; similarly Clematis napaulensis (T. 9037).
It will of course, be realized that a short note like this can only illustrate its subject, and by no means do full justice to it. Mr. WILLIAMS had very remarkable powers of thought and action, and in this field both his judgement and his practical knowledge were extraordinary. It has been my endeavour to convey some sense of them in this brief account.
Next to Rhododendrons the plants most characteristic of Caerhays are the Camellias and Magnolias
The first entry on a Christmas Day in the Caerhays Garden Book is for the year 1897, and reads thus: “A good many camellias, a good few roses, some snowdrops well open, Iris stylosa and Bakeriana.” A Double white Camellia was always out about Christmas. Camellia Sasanqua was at its best in December – in 1900 it is so recorded on December 7; in 1901 it was earlier – “24th November, C.Sasanqua quite fine.” It could be as early as October e.g. October 14 1921: “Camellia Sasanqua good one with strong scent.” In 1918 a note on November 19 says: “The old C.Sasanqua as good as it has ever been”; and on the same date in 1932: “The best Sasanqua year I have seen.”
A note on December 22, 1921, records: “Several Camellias, Sasanqua, theifera A, theifera B, japonica and various speciosa of Forrest”. C.speciosa is now called c.saluenensis; it was discovered by FORREST on mountains near the Salwin river in China and first grown in this country by Mr. WILLIAMS. There are fine plants of it on a north-west wall at Caerhays and finer still in the wood; and Mr. WILLIAMS notes that it can flower between and on the dates of January 7 and April 21, “and then come the hybrids from it.”Of the crosses with C.japonica there are two splendid varieties, one of a lighter shell-pink colour, now known as ‘J. C. Williams’(fig.67, RHS Journal 67) recently awarded the F.C.C. (March 17, 1942). The other, of a darker shade now known as ‘Mary Christian’ (after Mrs. WILLIAMS), was awarded the A.M. on the same date. The beautiful form now called ‘Mary Williams’, raised from FORRESTS’S later collections of seeds in Western Yunnan, received the A.M. on the same day as the other two Camellias (March 17, 1942).
Mr. WILLIAMS’S biggest Camellia is a plant 25 feet high and as many thick with double flowers of pink. The garden also contains a number of other varieties: cuspidata, oleifolia, magnolifolia, the old ‘Lady Clare’ “a fine double white without a name,” etc. etc. A cross of saluenensis with cuspidata gives white flowers larger than those of cuspidata itself.
Mr.WILLIAMS’S collection of Magnolia species was probably unique; the earliest references in the Garden Book are to M.Halliana (stellata), e.g. March 4 and 17 1897. In 1903 we read of the planting of two Magnolias “as shown in the first Flora and Sylva”; in 1904 of a M.Campbellii “below the big wall”; in 1912 of two 374 (i.e. Wilsonii); in 1913 of Magnolia 688, and M. hypoleuca (obvata); in 1921 of three big specimens of the hybrid M.conspicua x Campbellii (Veitchii) and two of salicifolia; in 1923 of 11 Magnolia species, “say 2 of Forrest’s (1919 lot of seeds), 3 macrophyllas and some Dawsonianas”; and so on. Another example of activity with magnolias is given by the entry in May 1926: “put our best M.nitida in a shelter near Tin Garden.”
Mr. R.M.GREGORY now head gardener at Werrington, has told me that when he came back to Caerhays after serving in the late war Mr. WILLIAMS pointed out to him a Magnolia and said it was the only one then to be found west of China, adding “And I want to get it distributed everywhere.” I repeat the story here as a good illustration of Mr. WILLIAMS’S passion for as wide a distribution as possible, the only limitation being that the recipient must like the plants and not merely want them.
In 1928, in a short paper in the Rhododendron Society’s Notes, on “Deciduous Trees and Shrubs for the Wood Garden”, Mr. WILLIAMS referred to two old Kobus Magnolias which came to Caerhays about twenty-five years previously, “very lanky objects in pots.” These must be the two mentioned in the 1903 note already quoted. He said they gave more bloom at Caerhays “than any other Magnolia so far.” On April 12, 19289 the Garden Book has a note: “Bean put the best Kobus down as having 2,000 blooms open.”
In the same paper Mr. WILLIAMS mentioned M.rostrata, M.mollicomata and WILSON’S M.officinalis with its lovely foliage. Of M.Sargentiana he says that it had been at Caerhays about twenty years and was over 20 feet in high, but there had so far been no sign of a bud; actually he still had about three years to wait. On April 4, 1931, the Garden Book records: “M.Sargentiana came into flower”; and eight days later: “M.Sargentii opened its first flowers, very large purplish pink flowers, quite a fine tree.” In April 1934 it was “smothered in bloom”
In his 1928 paper Mr. WILLIAMS also said that there were flowers on his M.grandiflora and his M.Delavayi in the November of the previous year. He said, moreover, that of the smaller Magnolias he preferred parviflora (Sieboldii) to stellata (the Garden Book has a note, June 23, 1931: “M.parviflora has many flowers, perhaps 1,000 on the big plant”); and he mentioned his famous M.denudata purpurascens (WILSON, 688), now Sprengeri forma diva, which he saved for cultivation from Coombe Wood . Mr BEAN greatly admired the plant at Caerhays in April, 1919, then about 30 feet high with beautiful blooms erect at the end of leafless shoots. On March 28, 1931, the Garden Book has a note: “Seedling Magnolia denudate purpurascens shows colour in the bud of a pale pink.”
In his book on Magnolias (12927), Mr. J.G.Millais said that he had only seen one specimen of M.rostrata as yet placed in the open garden and that was at Caerhays, where the plant was 5 feet high. He thought that the two plants of M.Delavayi close together in the high wood above the Castle were the best he had ever seen and “about the finest evergreens in that wonderful garden.” It was about 1903 that Mr. WILLIAMS first bought this Magnolia, and it was always one of his favourite plants on account of its foliage.
In 1931 Mr. WILLIAMS contributed another most interesting paper to the Rhododendron Society’s Notes on “Magnolias as Companions to Rhododendrons in Woodland or Shrub Gardens.” “One thing” he observes, “Magnolias demand, like all other plants in the garden, when they have delivered a big crop of flower and seed: that is cleaning and feeding and a good mulch to keep the sun off the roots so as to retain the moisture.” He points out that M.hypoleuca (obovata) has four periods in which it gives particular satisfaction: when in young leaf, when the scented flowers are opening, when in fruit, and finally just before the leaves fall when they have become a dark chocolate-brown. Of M.salicifolia he says, “Speaking for myself only. I would sooner live with the plant of the fastigiated form now at Kew than any other single flowering tree in that wonderful collection” .
It was on April24, 1931, that Mr WILLIAMS saw M.mollicomata flowering for the first time. Large specimens of this Magnolia, in more than one form, flower splendidly at Caerhays; they may be in full bloom for four or five days, or, in mild weather, as much as a fortnight . Magnolia Dawsoniana has of late years become finer at Caerhays, and though not equal to M.Sargentiana robusta is now in the first class.
A number of other Magnolias are mentioned from time to time in the Garden Book, e.g. May 17, 1920, “M.Wilsonii is the best thing open with the Engine House Azaleas”; May 26, 1920 “I found a Magnolia Watsonii last night”; May 18, 1930 “the small Nicholsoniana [now called sinensis] has four wonderful flowers about 6 inches across, the big plant Nicholsoniana just opening, it looks well... M.Vetchii had 18 flowers between the two plants”; on the same date in 1931, “Of the Magnolias, Brozzonii is the best, speciosa (a form of Soulangiana) the next”; May 23, 1934, “Trade forms of M.conspicua are excellent”; February 22, 1935, “Our Magnolia Campbellii is very good indeed.” One of the most beautiful of all the Magnolias, M.nitida, came through a sever frost at Caerhays in 1931 without a trace of injury. Its foliage was then the most brilliant in the garden, but it was not until 1936 that it flowered, for the first time in England.
When we leave Camellias and Magnolias and turn to other plants we scarcely know where to begin, the selection is so rich. It must suffice to mention a few of the most notable.
Michelia Doltsopa seems to have first flowered in cultivation at Caerhays in 1935, and so did Meliosma Veitchiorum in June 1930. Gordonia axillaris, Mr. WILLIAMS describes as a very fine evergreen indeed at all seasons, and adds: “The one plant which has flowered well here did so for several weeks on end in the middle of last winter” (Rhododendron Society’s Notes, 3, p.203, 1927). Clethra Delavayi, in the form with black anthers to the flowers, grew to be from 15 to 20 feet in height.
The white variety of Erica australis known as ‘Mr. Robert’, was found by one of Mr. WILLIAMS’S sons in the mountains of southern Spain in 1912. Stuck into the Garden Book is the original page from Mr. ROBERT’S pocket diary: “H.R.C. Algeceiras, Spain, Monday December 30, 1912 – went riding as usual, searching all the time in the hills for a white form of australis; luck favoured me, and I found a good plant of it. Naturally we shall take some home. Father has been mad keen to get it.” Notes in the garden Book on April 8, 1918, read: “Bob’s white australis is in flower well for the first time”; April8, 1923, “Bob’s white is splendid.”
Two of WILSON’S Prunus were outstanding at Caerhays: P.Conradinae and Mume. Of the first Mr. WILLIAMS said (Rhododendron Society’s Notes, 2,p.86) that it was the earliest and best, sweet scented and very fast growing; it first flowered both at Kew and Caerhays in January 1916. Of the second (4146) he wrote on February 8, 1920, saying that it had flowered very finely indeed: “It has a great mop head to it and you could hardly see through the mass of small white scented flowers.” Later in 1928 he wrote (Rhododendron Society’s Notes, 3, p.263), “The Prunus are all good when they are doing well, and I am not sure that the double sloe is not the best of all, with the double Avium nearly as good. If limited to one species, I would have every form of P.subhirtella I could get.” The Garden Book also speaks well of P.pendula, P.cerasifera var.Pissardi, P.incisa and P.Sargentii.
Rosa Moyesii first flowered in this country at Caerhays; it is several times referred to in the Garden Book. e.g. June 28, 1923: “The pink Moyesii is the best thing we have.”
“Acer griseum” Mr WILLIAMS says (Rhododendron Society’s Notes, 3, p.262), “gives us the best colour in autumn, if one plants it out of the wind. Wilson’s Acer 4102 (tertramerum var. betulifolium) is really my favourite, being so good in its foliage right through the year. Acer Henryi has been spoken very well of, but, as far as I have seen it, there is nothing to be said for it, excepting that it is scarce, and so troubles few people.”
Corylopsis 4406, pauciflora, etc., is lovely at Caerhays about the end of March. Mr WILLIAMS points out that “the beautiful drooping flower should be above the level of ones face to see it well.” Staphylea holocarpa rosea first showed its flowers at Caerhays; Mr. WILLIAMS observes that “you have to crack the seed to insure germination.” There is a note in the Garden Book, March 18, 1926: “Staphylea holocarpa shows bud”; and another May5, 1933: “Staphylea very good for about three weeks.” Tetracentron sinense “is to me,” Mr WILLIAMS says, “the most beautiful deciduous tree I have seen, though Nothofargus obliqua runs it close.”
WILSON’S Betula albo-sinensis septentrionalis (4106) is notable for its foliage and the colour of its bark; “and a form of B. utilis from Edinburgh runs it very close.” Of Styrax there were at Caerhays eight species and a self-made hybrid, “for the family does for us in May and June what hardly any other does.” S.Langkongensis, S.shweliensis and S. Wilsonii may be specially mentioned; and an old plant of S.Helmsleyanus from Coombe Wood was best of all.
In 1926 Mr WILLIAMS drew up for the Rhododendron Society’s Notes “a list of Enkianthus believed to be in cultivation.” “The most beautiful member of this family” he writes,” is E. quinqueflorus, or reticulatus from Hong-Kong (Botanical Magazine, 40, t.1649). I have seen it live outside for two winters; but it declines to grow so far.” “After the Magnolias the Enkianthus family,” he remarks in another paper, “are the most sulky things at being transplanted, unless the young Oaks hate it more.”
A number of Oaks were raised at Caerhays. Here, for instance, are two notes in the Garden Book: April 19, 1921 – “Just (two days since) had 5 kinds of Quarks in 10 of each from Japan. They took 8 weeks to come and all look very well”; November 6, 1921 – “Sowing some rare evergreen acorns from Bruce Gardener.” “The best evergreen oak,” Mr WILLIAMS says (Rhododendron Society’s Notes, 3, p.202) “is Wilson’s cleistocarpa. It came from Coombe Wood in about 1912 and has grown farther than any other, whilst the cold of 1917 made no mark on it.” This plant has become the finest in the country.
The fine white Escallonia found in Caerhays garden as a natural hybrid by one of the gardeners, Mr DAVID IVEY, is called after him E.Iveyi.
On November 7, 1915, the following entry occurs in the Garden Book: ”Primula helodoxa is looking very nice in flower and would seem to be the best yellow primula by far.” That and also P.nutans and P.Agleniana first saw the light of day in England at Caerhays; and the Botanical Magazine (Dedications Volume, p.364) adds: “Appropriately enough, it remains the one place in Britain where Forrest’s primrose seems thoroughly at home.” A note in the Garden Book, November 7, 1923, reads: “I have made a big bed of Primula Forrestii.” This bed did not last; these Primulas seldom go for more than three years on the ground. They grow for years in a hole in the wall or a Cornish hedge: and some of the originals are still strong. This was one of Mr WILLIAMS’S greatest favourites both for foliage and flower.
The Garden Book refers to several species of Clematis, e.g. cirrhosa, chrysoconia, paniculata; and the Clematis Armandi on a wall behind the Castle was once the biggest in England. Mr WILLIAMS was much interested in Loniceras, e.g. L.tragophylla and L.Tellmanniana, and in Paeonies. He did not care for Pittosporum, though there is a fine tree of P.tenuifolium in Caerhays garden. Asked on one occasion whether he grew a certain Berberis he replied, “No – are there not enough prickly people in the world without growing prickly plants?” Still, he could write in the Garden Book on April 16, 1922, “The Berberis hedge has been good for a long time.”
In taking leave of this wonderful garden I am reminded of a story I was told some time ago of a well-known French horticulturist who had come over to see Cornish gardens. His host noticed how he came back day by day after a visit to a garden and made very careful notes of what he had seen, but the day he returned from Caerhays he wrote nothing. When asked why –“But it is impossible,” he said” for they will no longer believe me.”
As has already been indicated, Mr WILLIAMS had an eye for familiar as well as for unfamiliar beauty. “Jasminum nudiflorum,” he notes on January 5, 1916, “is far the best thing in the countryside”; “foxgloves are very good”(June 13, 1918); “the wild clematis (old man’s beard) on the silver fir is our best thing now” (October 9, 1923). He was particularly fond of a double Blackthorn in the garden and of a white Ribes which came years ago from a garden at Tregony, a few miles away. He loved the quiet and simple life of the Highlands on his summer holiday in Scotland. He had a large car for his wife, but he himself preferred to go about in a “tin Lizzie.” His chauffeur kept on hinting as broadly as he dared that the Lord Lieutenant should have something better’ and at last one morning Mr WILLIAMS informed him that he had bought a new car and sent him to the garage to get it. He set out in great expectation, only to find a new “tin Lizzie.”
In the war of 1914-1918 Mr WILLIAMS lost two of his four serving sons, JOHN and ROBERT; between him and ROBERT there had always been a particularly close bond of understanding affection. These blows he bore in silence, inviting no sympathy. His wife, who during the war, had been in charge of the V.A.D. hospital at Launceston and had supervised the conversion of Werrington Park into a hospital, died in October 1922. These losses affected him deeply. He had constantly consulted Mrs WILLIAMS even about the details of his correspondence, and if she was not satisfied with a letter he would tear it up and write another. He had many acquaintances, not many close friends. The Rev. G H ENGLEHEART was one; Mr GERALD LODER, afterwards Lord WAKEHURST, whom he got to know at Cambridge, was a life-long friend. His cousin Mr P.D. WILLIAMS of Lanarth, also a great gardener, was another, and to him Mr WILLIAMS wrote almost daily. His notes were generally extremely brief, just a line or two on some plant or happening. High among his friends Mr WILLIAMS himself counted several of his gardeners, particularly Mr. IVEY, who did practically the whole of his Daffodil work, and Mr MARTIN and Mr MICHAEL, who were largely responsible for the shrubs. Mr WILLIAMS loved to talk over a plant and its habits with them and felt himself deeply indebted for the pleasure and wisdom he gained from their friendship. He also had the highest regard for Mr. W.J. BEAN, whose opinion on shrubs he put above that of anyone else.
In 1931, when another great friend who was a very keen gardener had to lie for two months on his back, Mr. WILIAMS picked each day a carefully chosen flower from his garden, packed it with his own hands and sent it in a package addressed in his own handwriting.
Many of the Cornish clergy have been hard put to find the education they desired for their children and to make provision for a rainy day or a little holiday; and for twenty years or more Mr. WILLIAMS was the greatest benefactor they had, though they did not know it. No man in our time has come nearer the Gospel ideal of giving –“let not thy left hand know what thy right doeth.”
On March 29, 1939, Mr WILLIAMS after breakfast went through his garden, as he often did at that time of day, along the Battery walk to his favourite spot overlooking the sea; and seated there he died. For a long time previously, tenderly watched over with devoted care by is daughter, Miss MAY WILLIAMS, he had been gradually fading out; it was a good and fitting end.
Mr. WILLIAMS had won the gratitude and respect of his contempories. They knew his powers and were not a little in awe of him. They regarded him as the greatest Cornishman of his time. He was, what so few dare to be, himself; and it was a great self to be. His influence lives and will live, especially among the county’s leader. In magnanimous devotion to duty he set the pace, and they are gamely endeavouring to keep it up.
In preparing this account I have been greatly indebted first to the kindness of Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS, who has succeeded his father at Caerhays; and then to the help of several others whom I would mention Mr. CHARLES MICHAEL, the head gardener at Caerhays, Mr R.M. GREGORY, the head gardener at Werrington, and especially Mr. G.H. JOHNSTONE, who has most generously placed his great knowledge at my disposal.