This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
For an answer to an " Inquirer " we have referred to many old authorities, and the results of our search are that Parkinson in his " Paradisus," published in 1629, Rea in his "Flora" published in 1665, and Bauhin in his "Pinax" published in 1671, enumerate many roses, but the Moss is not among them. It was introduced or raised in Holland, probably at the close of the seventeenth century, for Dr. Martyn in his edition of Miller's " Gardener's Dictionary," says it is in Furber's catalogue in 1724. We have seen a copy dated 1727; it is entitled " Catalogue of English and Foreign Trees Collected, Increased, and Sold by Robert Furber at his Nursery over-against the Park-Gate at Kensington, near London".
Faulkner in his "History of Fulham," says that Mr. Rench was the first to introduce the Moss Rose into this country, the original plant of which is supposed to have been brought from Holland. Rench lived at South Field Farm, near Parson's Green, a farm possessed by his family for two centuries. He was buried in Fulham churchyard, where there is this inscription to his memory on a headstone - "Under this stone are deposited the remains of Nathaniel Rench, late of this parish, gardener, who departed this life Jan. 18th, 1783, aged 101 years." So he may have introduced the rose before 1724, for in that year he was forty-two years old.
The moss rose was first portraited in the " Botanical Magazine, plate 69. It is described as the Rosa muscosa, or moss rose, and the plate is dated December, 1788. Mr. Curtis observes that, though Miller thought it a distinct species, Linnaeus considered it only a variety of Rosa centifolia. - Journal of Horticulture.