Sweet Peas and Potatoes

The Hampshire Chronicle of 15 October 1904 reported

"Winchester: Between the dainty sweet pea, with its beautiful colours and sweet perfume, to the homely potato, one of the greatest food products of the country, there seems no analogy, but Mr Charles Breadmore, 120 High-street, Winchester, whose success with the former is now world renowned, has added another honour to his list, viz., at the National Potato Society's first great show, held at the Crystal Palace on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, by being awarded a special Crystal Palace silver medal for his collection of 19 new varieties."

On 6 July 1906 the Times newspaper report of the National Sweet Pea Society's show at Westminster including the following -

"Mr C W Breadmore of Winchester exhibited a choice collection and secured a special award for 'Audrey Crier' a fine pale pink bloom"

Again on 10 May 1911 it was reported that -

"Sweet Peas were shown for the first time this season in groups from Messrs Dobbie (Edinburgh) and Breadmore (Winchester)"

At the International Flower Show in June 1914, Medals were awarded including the National Sweet Pea Society medal to Messrs Breadmore.

An advertisement in the 1904 Warren’s Advertising Directory of Winchester shows the shop front of Chas. W. Breadmore at 120 High Street, along with information on other establishments. A branch is also listed in St George’s Street, a flower stall in Station Hill, the City Mill in Bridge Street and Nurseries and Trial Grounds in Sutton Scotney. For those intending to make purchases four free catalogues were available

Breadmore’s Exhibitor’s Guides and Seed Catalogue

Breadmore’s Seed Potato Catalogue

Breadmore’s Bedding Plant Catalogue

Breadmore’s Bulb Catalogue

As well as a Miller and Corn Merchant, ‘all grain re-cleaned by newest machinery’, Charles Walter was also a Sweet Pea specialist as shown by a later advertisement.

It appears that Charles named a number of his new varieties after his immediate family as the following Sweet Peas are listed in Lester Morse Field Notes dated 1916. Charles Breadmore (date and colour not known), Cyril Breadmore (date and colour not known), Dora Breadmore 1906 (buff and primrose), Douglas Breadmore 1906 (purple flake), Evelyn Breadmore 1906 (pearly white), Mrs C W Breadmore 1908 (buff ground with rosy picot edge) and Reggie Breadmore 1901 (purple flake).

Charles Walter BREADMORE was the son of George BREADMORE and Sarah Shipway NEWMAN both of whom are buried at the old St Peters Cemetery in Stockbridge. George, who was born in 1828 at Wherwell to Joseph BREADMORE formerly of Mildenhall, Wiltshire, and Ann INGRAM, became a Maltster and Corn dealer in Stockbridge, Hampshire.

Charles Walter BREADMORE died on 22 June 1960 at the War Memorial Hospital in Crowborough, Sussex.

The following account of the family was written in 2010 by Jonathan Breadmore, a grandson of Charles Walter

Earlier this year my cousin Bridget Jackson sent me an extract from The Hampshire Chronicle of 15 October 1904 about our grandfather Charles Walter Breadmore of Winchester who was a noted grower of Sweet Peas and who had been awarded the National Sweet Pea Society Medal.

The article went on to generally extol his achievements. Much of it was familiar to my cousins Bridget and Michael Breadmore but what was of particular interest was mention that our grandfather had named a number of varieties after members of his family. This prompted me to telephone Yates and Co leading seed suppliers in Australia to enquire as to whether any of these named varieties were still in commercial production. What followed was quite  extraordinary for someone very unfamiliar with the flower and seed world. Yates referred my enquiry and responses were received from the USA, UK and NZ. A number were very involved in the history of Sweet Peas and publish each year an Annual for devotees and generally exchange items of interest. They were very familiar with Charles Breadmore but they did not know anything about his family and were interested to receive more information, particularly as I was Australian. Margaret Young was copied in on some correspondence and she kindly suggested that our story might of interest to other Breadmore's.

Read more about the descendants of this family at Bombed at Sea.

Andrew Young - andrew@breadmore.org - © Margaret and Andrew Young
Breadmore One-Name Study - Sweet Peas and Potatoes - http://www.breadmore.org/