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Farrer Family
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Reginald Farrer Collection

  • GB235 RJF
  • Collection
  • 1880 - 2004

The Reginald Farrer collection comprises correspondence between Reginald Farrer and his family (his mother in particular), E.A. Bowles, John Buchan, Sir Francis Younghusband, Ernest Gye, Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour and others as detailed below. It also includes paintings, photographs, 35mm slides, glass plate negatives and lantern slides covering mainly his two plant collecting expeditions to China in 1914-15 and Burma in 1919-1920, as well as scripts for plays written by Farrer.

Farrer, Reginald John

Farrer written material, box 2; early travels and Parliamentary campaign

Box 2: 1903-1913; includes Royal Horticultural Society certificates, 1902-1913; correspondence relating to Japan trip 1903; general correspondence mainly to mother and E.A. Bowles, 1905-1913; correspondence from Kandy, Ceylon and Colombo, 1908; correspondence from Canada, 1908; correspondence from Europe, 1908; correspondence to and from the Herberts, mainly 1908; correspondence from European trip, family and E.A. Bowles, 1910; items relating to Farrer's Parliamentary campaign, Ashford, Kent, 1910; correspondence from European trip, 1912; and copy of Primula Hybrids in Nature by R. Farrer from the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, 1913.

Farrer Family

Farrer written material, box 3; China Kansu expedition with William Purdom

Box 3: 1914-1916; includes letter from William Purdom outlining plans for 1914 China Expedition; correspondence from 1914-15 China expedition; some letters to and from Isaac Bayley Balfour, 1915; correspondence to parents from Japan, [1916?]; various maps of Kansu, China; Farrer's writings about Kansu - published reprints and manuscripts, 1916-18; Farrer's writings about Kansu - not known if published; newspaper cuttings including articles written about the 'White Wolf' of Kansu, c.1914, some written by Farrer; invoices from Kansu expedition; list of slides relating to Kansu expedition compiled in 1985; transcriptions of two photograph albums relating to Kansu expedition [RJF/2/2/3-4]; miscellaneous ephemera.

Farrer Family

Farrer written material, box 4; between expeditions and First World War

Box 4: 1916-1918; folder of correspondence, mainly to mother but correspondents also include Aubrey Herbert, E.A. Bowles, William Purdom, Nell Purdom [William's sister], Hugh Faulkener and Italian Legation, Beijing. Subjects include Farrer's operation, John Buchan, gardener's pay, London Air Raid, World War One and Edinburgh. Also, letter from John Buchan, Ministry of Information dated 12/12/1917 referring to Farrer's writing; and folder of documents relating to Farrer's time at the Ministry of Information, 1917-18.

Farrer Family

Farrer written material, box 5; Burma expedition with Euan Cox

Box 5: 1919-1920; includes correspondence to family and Aubrey Herbert, 1919 - includes references to Frank Kingdon Ward and George Forrest; telegrams from RJF to his mother, 1919; correspondence to family, 1920; letter from Farrer to Sir Francis Younghusband, 13/09/1920; correspondence from Isaac Bayley Balfour and William Wright Smith of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to Farrer and family, 1917-1924; general correspondence, 1920, correspondents include Lionel de Rothschild, Postmaster Gye? J.T.O. Barnard, and William Purdom; folder of ephemera including telegram, ticket to Rangoon, diary entry and Burmese travelling times and Regulations for dealing with tribes; copy of Gardener's Chronicle including article by Farrer, 1921-22; notes written by Farrer's mother regarding instructions and dispatches from Farrer; plant / seed lists, including identifications from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Farrer's supply lists; information relating to E.H.M. Cox, including, copies of few diary pages, maps and letters from Farrer to Cox; and various maps of various dates relating to Farrer's collecting localities.

Farrer Family

Farrer written material, box 6; Farrer's death and post-death material

Box 6: 1920-1984; Farrer's death and post-death, including poem written by Farrer one week before his death 'found in the pencil copy of the Empty House' [Farrer's last unpublished novel]; telegram sent to Farrer after his death; correspondence relating to Farrer's death - correspondents include E.A. Bowles, Hugh Faulkener; F. Vivian Clerk, Bidder, Sir Francis Younghusband, Sepoy Jange Bhaju, E.H.M. Cox, J.T.O. Barnard, S.M. Frank, A.W. Porter, W.T. Stearn and Charles Graham and telegrams reporting death and letters about location and upkeep of the grave; photographs relating to Farrer's grave; undated correspondence - letter from William Purdom to Farrer; Rev. Henry Jardine Bidder to Farrer, and 4 undated letters from Farrer to his parents [mention of autocars in London]; postcard showing Edith Sitwell from Edith to Farrer's mother, March 1922, and photograph of Edith as a child [Sitwells are related to the Farrers] and collection of book reviews collected by Farrer, 1901-1920.

Farrer Family

Farrer written material, box 7; retrospective articles and activities in the media

Box 7: Retrospective articles in the media about Farrer and his plants, 1920-1989, including articles in the press, Country Life, Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, Quarterly Bulletin of the Alpine Garden Society, etc; various lists [see also plant lists in 2nd expedition box 5] including paintings, plant introductions, photographs and transparencies, all apparently drawn up in the 1970s-80s mainly by Charles Graham?; flyer from nurseries catalogue [W. Wells jnr, Surrey] showing Gentiana farreri c. 1921; newspaper cuttings relating to Gertrude Bell c. 1927; family correspondence regarding Farrer Conference, 1994 and Exhibition, 2003-4; captions and poster relating to 2003 Exhibition - 'The Father of Rock Gardening" held at the Folly, Settle, North Yorkshire.

Farrer Family

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