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'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 44-518
most recent 9 MAY 10 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 9 MAY 10 by Cass
This rose is identical to the rose in commerce under the name of 'Trovyn de Tronchère.' I believe that the two are identical, that neither is a Tea, and that both are Hybrid Teas. See my photos of the petals, filaments and anthers. Petal count is identical. Both are scentless.
Discussion id : 33-030
most recent 21 JUN 09 SHOW ALL
Initial post 8 JAN 09 by Sandie Maclean
It seems evident that the confusion between "Lady Mary Fitzwilliam" and "Mrs Wakefield Christie Miller" is universal.
With the possible exception of David Elliott's photos taken at Nell's Park Trier, Germany,the photos displayed are of "MWCM".
Reading through the references of both roses it is clear that "LMF" is an allover pale pink rose and that "MWCM" is a bicoloured rose with pale pink upper petals and rosey
pink reverses.
The confusion has been compounded by many rose books where the photos of both roses are identical in colour and shape.
I have been interested in sorting this confusion out for many years as I have a rose
sold to me as "LMF" which looks the same as "MWCM"
It is only now after reading the references here on HMF and noting the recorded colour of each rose that I know I have "MWCM".
Sandie Maclean
Melbourne Australia
Reply #1 of 11 posted 8 JAN 09 by jedmar
Interesting issue, I hadn't realized there was a problem with the identification. Would you agree that according to the references 'Mrs Wakefield Christie-Miller' would have darker reverse petals, while 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' should actually have lighter reverse petals?

It would also mean that 'Whittle Light-Pink Tea' is misidentified.
Reply #2 of 11 posted 9 JAN 09 by Patricia Routley
It has been a problem for decades Jedmar. I was so fascinated with the story that I got the books out and just kept typing. First they realised that Lady Mary Fitzwilliam was lost and the call went out around the world. After many years they found it, then they realised the foundling wasn't it at all, so the search was on again. Then they found another..... Eventually, with the help of Deane Ross' father, who had started their business in Australia in 1906 and was 87 at the time of seeing the picture of the new foundling, said "Now that's 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam', they realised they at last had the real 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam'. I have planted my two roses right next door to one another and they seem correctly identified to me. I'll upload those fascinating references next dark night when the satellite internet allows me some speed. It is a great story.
Reply #4 of 11 posted 9 JAN 09 by jedmar
Fascinating! Mrs. Wakefiled Christie Miller seems to have been quite a popular rose in her time, considering the amount of mentions. The breeding date for LMF has just been pushed to before 1880, when it was apparently first presented to the Royal Horticultural Society.
Reply #3 of 11 posted 9 JAN 09 by Sandie Maclean
References to the confusion between these two roses can be found in at least two of the rose books that I own:
ROSES by Peter Beales-published in Great Britain in 1992
After writing of the importance of 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' as a stud rose he continues...
Quote;"I cannot exclude a personal anecdote at this juncture.
It is about a small illustration that appeared in a small book entitled LATE VICTORIAN ROSES,written by myself,with photographs by Keith Money.
This picture was of an unidentified variety discovered by Keith at Caston in 1975.
We did not state dogmatically that it was 'Lady Mary Fitwilliam',but it was hoped it might create some interest,either confirming that it was 'Lady Mary',or suggesting a suitable name.
Two letters came from Australia,both expressing the opinion that the rose was indeed 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam'.
One was from Deane Ross,a professional rose grower whose father had started the business in 1906,and who,when shown the photograph,was an alert gentleman of eighty seven years.
Deane wrote:'When I showed him your book he said,"Now that is Lady Mary Fitzwilliam."'
Deane went on to say that his father had grown this variety extensively in his early years as a nurseryman,and remembered it well.
This does not necessarily authenticate the rose-photographs are not the easiest means of identification-but it is particularly interesting,since later I acquired a colour print of 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' which strengthens my belief that the rose may well have been rediscovered.
It came from Mrs Margaret Meier,a neice of Henry Bennett's great-granddaughter, Mrs Ruth Burdett;and Mrs Burdett added support to this belief by informing me that Henry Bennett's son Charles emigrated to Australia and started commercial rose growing there at the turn of the century,doubtless taking with him
ample stocks of his father's roses."
end quote.

There is also a photo on page 29 captioned 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' with four blooms visible-it is difficult to make out the colour but seems to resemble 'Mrs Wakefield Christie Miller'.

PAGE 389
The entry for 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' reads;
Bennett UK 1928
'Devoniensis'x'Victor Verdier'
Large,freely produced,soft pink flowers,flushed deeper pink.
Shapely,high centred and scented.Not overly vigorous but quite bushy.
Ample,good,dark green foliage.This is a famous old rose;parent to many of the early British Hybrid Teas.
A rediscovery at Caston,Norfolk,by Keith Money in 1975.

PAGE 394
The entry for 'Mrs Wakefield Christie Miller' reads;
McGredy UK 1909
Flowers High centred,of soft pink-shaded-salmon with brighter reverses.
Foliage leathery,light green.Growth short,bushy.

There is no photograph of 'Mrs wakefield Christie Miller'

The second book is
MACOBOY'S ROSES by Stirling Macoboy published in Australia in 1993.
PAGE 246
Entry for 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' reads;
Named for a grand-daughter of King William IV,'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam'was raised by Henry Bennett in 1882.
It was greeted with derision:'A weaker and more unsatisfactory grower would be impossible to find',sneered one writer of the day.
However,it is one of the most important ancestors of Modern Garden Roses,and it is still a lovely fragrant bloom in soft pink.
Foliage is pale green and matt.
Beware of imposters-the lovely 'Mrs Wakefield Christie Miller' is sometimes sold as 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam'.

To the right of the entry is a photograph captioned 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam'-this photo shows a rose whos colour resembles that of 'Mrs wakefield Christie Miller'.

PAGE 297
Entry for 'Mrs Wakefield Christie Miller' reads;
They do not name them like that any more!It is probably nearer true modern owners of such names are apt to say,'Oh,do call me Fiona'.There was no such informality in 1909,when Sam McGredy II intrduced 'Mrs Wakefield Chritie Miller'to the public.
Her recent revival was originally due to her masquerading for a while as 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam'.
She is a delight in her own right,the large,fragrant,two toned pink blooms just like the kind you see on Edwardian chintzes.
The growth is moderate,and some pampering will be appreciated.
Foliage is light green and leathery.

Below this entry is a photo captioned 'Mrs Wakefield Christie Miller'
Colouring is correct but appears to have less petals than the rose shown as 'LMF'

One last entry for 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' from
Published by Timber Press in Oregon in 1981 after translation from the original German version published in 1974.
PAGE 361
After a diagram showing the pedigree of 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' the entry reads;
Bennett 1882
'Devoniensis'x'Victor Verdier'
Flesh pink,very large,globose,strong fragrance;foliage pale green.
One of the most important old rose varieties.WPR26.

All the descriptions of 'LMF' describe her as soft pink,pale pink or flesh pink.
On the other hand the descriptions of 'MWCM' invariably describe her as having soft pink upper petals and deeper pink reverses.
From the descriptions these two roses should not resemble each other at all- but all photos I have seen of 'LMF'have the colouring of 'MWCM'
I would dearly love to know where the real 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' is.
Reply #5 of 11 posted 10 JAN 09 by Patricia Routley
Sandie, The articles on the lost-found-lost-found saga are now in the references.
Reply #7 of 11 posted 10 JAN 09 by Cass
I don't question that the attribution of "Whittle Beyer Pink Tea" may be wrong. But I must ask this about the photos of Mrs. Wakefield Christie-Miller, which very clearly show the contrast of the two sides of the petals.

Given the obvious contrast in colors, would anyone describe that color of the reverse as vermillion-rose?!

I think not.
Reply #8 of 11 posted 10 JAN 09 by Patricia Routley
Cass, a few years back a lady mentioned to me, in connection with 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliam' that “This vermilion colour is not what we call vermilion today. But the colour on the outside of the petals is what they called vermilion in the older books”.

Perhaps a look at that older colour chart in the 'Tea Roses' book may help.

And in connection with "Whittle-Beyer", my recorded notes from our trip to the Altaville Catholic Cemetery where we saw the "Whittle-Beyer" rose at site No. 37 on May 21, 2005. The day after I saw 'Lady Sylvia' at Gregg and Phillip's garden and was struck by the similarity - enough to make a note of it.
Reply #6 of 11 posted 10 JAN 09 by HMF Admin
THIS is what HelpMeFind is all about. This is how we use a tool like the internet to its real potential. Thank you all.
Reply #9 of 11 posted 11 JAN 09 by Sandie Maclean
I have uploaded a pic-a coloured lithograph found on the Rochester Uni site.
Also Peter Beales' website now has a small close up photo of a pale pink rose named
as Lady Mary Fitzwilliam.
Reply #10 of 11 posted 21 JUN 09 by Allison
I am so glad people other than me have to figure this out. I can't see any resemblance in any of the paintings/drawings to any of the photos--color non-withstanding, the shape of the flower is completely different to me: in the renderings it seems so much more globular and full-petaled than any of the flowers in the photos, except for the one referenced: the back cover of Peter Beales' booklet and one or 2 others,--whereas for example, the Painting of 'La France' looks to be exactly the same flower as in the pictures. Does this depend on the stage the flower was in when the photo was taken? They all seem 'crumpled' or like tires that have gone flat.
This is even more confusing with some of the bi-tone photos still under this rose listing. Can the incorrect photos be moved?
Reply #11 of 11 posted 21 JUN 09 by kahlenberg
what a bore! i´m afraid i have to re-label my lmf as well. many sources compare lmf to captain christie, which definitely hasn´t that obvious bi-coloured appearance like the rose in my garden at all - i might have known! by the way: my lmf in disguise is of very globular shape (similar to mme caroline testout) and hasn´t much of a scent.
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