Pomona Herefordiensis: Containing Coloured Engravings of the Old Cider and Perry Fruits of Herefordshire by Thomas Andrew Knight (The Agricultural Society of Herefordshire, 1811)
Introduced by Edward Bulmer
The spiral of life – an Instagram post by Rachel de Thame drew me to pull out an old volume, the Pomona Herefordiensis by Thomas Andrew Knight of 1811, the first published account of native cider apple varieties.
Next to it in the shelf I had a volume on William Bulmer really the country’s first fine art printer (and a forbear).
In reading this I discovered that it was Bulmer who printed Knight’s book. He was the first President of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and lived about 10 miles from here.
Ten miles in the opposite direction lives Liz Banks, the RHS President from 2010-2013 . Her husband Lawrence is descended from Sir Joseph Banks who it would seem secured many of Bulmer’s printing commissions from horticultural societies and the Society of Dilettanti.
The second Herefordshire Pomona was published at the end of the century (largely based on essays by another forbear Rev. Charles Bulmer) and the third was published 100 years later by H.P. Bulmer on the centenary of the cider company.
Darren Bloodworth at C.Arden Booksellers in Hay-on-Wye has a scarce first edition Pomona Herefordiensis, first issue of the in superb condition. He is selling it for £4500.
More recent handsome rebinding in half green morocco leather with marbled boards
Containing coloured engravings of the old cider and perry fruits of Herefordshire. With such new fruits as have been found to possess superior excellence. Accompanied with a descriptive account of each variety.
Plates engraved and coloured by William Hooker after original drawings by Elizabeth Mathews and Frances Knight.
This work commenced publication in parts, in 1808. Knight was one of the original members of The Agricultural Society of Herefordshire and did much to further its scientific activities. He improved various kinds of fruit from seed produced by hybridisation and careful selection, instead of the traditional methods of grafting. He served as President of the Royal Horticultural Society between 1811 and 1838.