During the Reign of George IV: Apple Time with Cox’s Orange Pippin

In North Carolina, it is “apple time,” with loads of Apple Festivals across the state. Check out this article from The New York Times about Creigton Calhoun, Jr., of Pittsboro, NC, who “keeps ancient apples fresh and crisp.”

Mr. Calhoun is the author of a recently revised compendium of 1,800 antique apple varieties, called “Old Southern Apples.” He is also one of a cadre of collectors across the country who are passing on their own rare apples, through scions and grafted trees, to younger men and women starting nurseries or preservation orchards, or simply planting a few trees in the backyard.

He has given his collection to young growers like David C. Vernon, who now sells more than 400 heirloom apple varieties at Century Farm Orchards, in Reidsville, N.C., a farm that has been in his family since 1872.

“Lee taught me how to graft and provided me with most of his old varieties,” said Mr. Vernon, 40, who teaches high school chemistry.

Mr. Calhoun has also planted 800 trees — two of each in his collection — at Horne Creek Living Historical Farm in Pinnacle, N.C., north of Winston-Salem, in the northwestern Piedmont. Visitors can now see the difference between a semi-dwarf, free-standing tree and a dwarf tree of the same variety, espaliered or trained against wires. (Visit the NY Times website for the complete article.)

All that being said, you know I must relate even a topic such as “apples” to the Regency Period, for I write about the Regency in my novels. So, here is one of the apple cultivars, which began during the reign of George IV.

Cox’s Orange Pippin is an apple cultivar first grown in 1825, at Colnbrook in Buckinghamshire, England, by the retired brewer and horticulturist Richard Cox. Though the parentage of the cultivar is unknown, Ribston Pippin seems a likely candidate. The variety was introduced for sale by the 1850s by Mr. Charles Turner, and grown commercially from the 1860s, particularly in the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire, and later in Kent.

220px-Cox_orange_renette2 Cox’s Orange Pippin is highly regarded due to its excellent flavor and attractive appearance. The apples are of medium size, orange-red in colour deepening to bright red and mottled with carmine over a deep yellow background. The flesh is very aromatic, yellow-white, fine-grained, crisp and very juicy. Cox’s flavour is sprightly subacid, with hints of cherry and anise, becoming softer and milder with age. When ripe apples are shaken, the seeds make a rattling sound as they are only loosely held in the apple’s flesh.

One of the best in quality of the English dessert apples; Cox’s Orange Pippin may be eaten out of hand or sliced. Not recommended for cooking, it cooks to a fine froth. Cox’s Orange Pippin is often blended with other varieties in the production of cider.

According to the Institute of Food Research, Cox’s Orange Pippin accounts for over 50% of the UK acreage of dessert apples. The tree is a moderate grower and is annually productive. However it can be difficult to grow in many environments and tends to be susceptible to diseases such as scab, mildew and canker. A testament to this is the fact that it is rarely grown commercially in North America. A number of sports of Cox’s Orange Pippin have been discovered over subsequent years and propagated. These retain “Cox” in their names, e.g., Cherry Cox, Crimson Cox, King Cox, Queen Cox. In addition to the cultivation of Cox sports, apple breeders have hybridised Cox with other varieties to improve vigour, disease resistance and yield while attempting to retain the unique qualities of Cox’s flavor.

Descendent Cultivars
Cultivar name (female parent × male parent)

Acme (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
Alkmene (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Geheimrat Doktor Oldenburg)
Allington Pippin (Cox’s Orange Pippin × King of the Pippins)
Anna Boelens (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Freiherr von Berlepsch)
Arthur W. Barnes (Gascoyne’s Scarlet × Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Barnack Orange (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Barnack Beauty)
Barry (McIntosh × Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Bountiful (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Lane’s Prince Albert)
Carswell’s Honeydew (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Unknown)
Carswell’s Orange (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Unknown)
Charles Ross (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Peasgood Nonesuch)
Clopton Red (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Unknown)
Cobra (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Bramley’s Seedling)
Downton Pippin (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Golden Pippin)
Dukat (Golden Delicious × Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Dunning (Cox’s Orange Pippin × McIntosh)
Eden (John Standish × Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Edith Hopwood (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Unknown)
Ellison’s Orange (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Calville Blanc d’Ete)
Elstar (Golden Delicious x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Fiesta (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Idared)
Francis (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Unknown)
Freyburg (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Golden Delicious)
Gloucester Cross (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Unknown)
Golden Nugget (Golden Russet x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Hereford Cross (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Unknown)
Herefordshire Russet (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Idared)
High View Pippin (Sturmer Pippin x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Holstein (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
Ingrid Marie (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
James Grieve (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Potts’ Seedling)
Jupiter (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Starking Delicious)
Karmijn de Sonneville (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Jonathan)
Kent (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Jonathan)
Kidd’s Orange Red (Cox Orange Pippin x Red Delicious)
King George V (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
Langley Pippin (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Gladstone)
Laxton’s Advance (Cox’s Orange Pippin × Gladstone)
Laxton’s Epicure (Wealthy x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Laxton’s Exquisite (Cellini x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Laxton’s Fortune (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Wealthy)
Laxton’s Pearmain (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Wyken Pippin)
Laxton’s Superb (Wyken Pippin x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Laxton’s Triumph (King of the Pippins x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Lynn’s Pippin (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Ellison’s Orange)
Meridien (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Falstaff)
Merton Beauty (Ellison’s Orange x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Merton Charm (McIntosh x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Merton Russet (Sturmer Pippin × Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Merton Worcester (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Worcester Pearmain)
Millicent Barnes (Gascoyne’s Scarlet x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Nuvar Cheerful Gold (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Golden Delicious)
Nuvar Freckles (Golden Delicious x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Orangenburg (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Esopus Spitzenburg)
Pixie (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Sunset)
Polly Prosser (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Duke of Devonshire)
Prince Charles (Lord Lambourne x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Prins Bernhard (Jonathan x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Red Windsor (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Alkmene)
Rival (Peasgood’s Nonsuch x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Rosy Blenheim (Blenheim Orange x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Rubens (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
Rubinette (Golden Delicious x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Ruby (Thorrington) (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
Saint Cecilia (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
Saint Everard (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Margil)
Sunburn (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
Suntan (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Court Pendu Plat)
Sunset (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Unknown)
Sweetie Darling/East Malling A 3022 (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Northern Spy)
Tydeman’s Late Orange (Laxton’s Superb x Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Tydeman’s October Pippin (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Ellison’s Orange)
William Crump (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Worcester Pearmain)
Winter Gem (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Grimes Golden)
Winston/Winter King (Cox’s Orange Pippin x Worcester Pearmain)

More Information Than You Need to Know About Apples…
Apple Cultivars

Dessert and Dual Purpose Apples
Adams Pearmain, Ambrosia, Antonovka, Arkansas Black, Ashmead’s Kernel, Aurora Golden Gala, Baldwin, Ben Davis, Blenheim Orange, Beauty of Bath, Belle de Boskoop, Braeburn, Brina, Cameo, Cornish Gilliflower, Cortland, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Cripps Pink (Pink Lady), Discovery, Egremont Russet, Elstar, Empire, Esopus Spitzenburg, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Golden Orange, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Haralson, Honeycrisp, Idared, James Grieve, Jazz, Jersey Black, Jonagold, Jonathan, Karmijn de Sonnaville, King Byerd, Knobbed Russet, Liberty, Macoun, McIntosh, Mutsu, Newtown Pippin, Nicola, Opal, Papirovka, Paula Red, Pink Pearl, Pinova, Ralls Genet, Rambo, Red Delicious, Redlove Era, Rhode Island Greening, Ribston Pippin, Rome, Roxbury Russet, Rubens (Civni), Sekai Ichi, Spartan, Stayman, Sturmer Pippin, Summerfree, SweeTango, Taliaferro, Tompkins King, Topaz, Wealthy, York Imperial, Zestar

Cooking Apples
Bramley, Calville Blanc d’hiver, Flower of Kent, Golden Noble, Norfolk Biffin, Northern Spy

Cider Apples
Brown Snout, Dabinett, Foxwhelp, Harrison Cider Apple, Kingston Black, Redstreak, Styre

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About reginajeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and contemporary novels.
This entry was posted in British history, food and drink, George IV, Great Britain, Living in the Regency, Regency era, Regency personalities and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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